Tell Us Your Story: John Goodnough

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SENIOR JOHN GOODNOUGH HAS WORKED AS A BALL PERSON FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS AT THE US OPEN.

BY STEPHANIE DOHENY

Features Editor

What’s a typical college student’s summer like? Probably working at a job back home, maybe waitressing, or being a camp counselor – something simple just to make a few extra dollars for the year. By the end of the summer, everyone’s bored and starting to get ready to come back to school.

However, this was not the case for senior John Goodnough. The ends of his past two summers have been nothing short of exciting.

A member of the Sacred Heart University Club Tennis Team and an avid tennis fan, Goodnough has been a US Open Ball Person for the past two summers. The road to get there though was not an easy one.

“I’ve done this for four years. I got involved by trying out with around 500 people for 80 or so rookie spots. I actually got cut my first two years and the third year was the charm,” said Goodnough. “Requirements are court awareness, being quick and having a good arm, now good rolling [skills, replacing throwing of the ball], and overall an understanding of tennis rules.”

He also talked about how trying out those first two years and not making the cut taught him to not give up on something you are passionate about.

“I would say biggest challenge was getting denied my first two years. It was important to not get down and to persist, and thankfully I was able to make it the third year,” said Goodnough.

He also mentioned that over the past couple of years, he has had the chance to be the ball boy for a few amazing players, such as Sloane Stephans, Alexander Zverev, John Isner and Lleyton Hewitt.

“It’s a cool experience to have the best ‘seat’ in the house and interact with very well-known players in a grand environment for the sport I love,” said Goodnough.

Having to leave early to come back to school, he said it’s always a great way to end his summer.

“My favorite part of working the U.S. Open is the whole experience that I am part of the biggest tennis tournament in the world. It’s a good feeling be part of an event that’s well-known nationwide.”

Fun fact about Goodnough though: not only is he a tennis player and fan, he is also a singer! In December 2017, he had the opportunity to audition for season 13 of America’s Got Talent! He was a celebrity judge’s contestant.

“I was also lucky enough to go to California and be a contestant this past season on AGT. I was 1 of 250 out of 75,000 people who auditioned,” said Goodnough. “It was an overall amazing experience meeting other contestants, the producers and performing for the celebrity judges.”

Goodnough continued on to say how both of these experiences have taught him a lot of valuable lessons and he wouldn’t change either opportunity in any way.

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