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Working hard helps Alkhafaji win districts

Name: Rami Alkhafaji

School: Hollidaysburg Area

Age: 18

Grade: Senior

Sport: Tennis

Athlete of the week achievement: Alkhafaji won his second straight District 6 Class 3A singles tennis championship with a 7-5, 7-5 win over State College’s Owen Lloyd in the final.

Season update: Alkhafaji has a 17-1 record this season, occupying the No. 1 singles spot with his only loss coming to a two-time state champion.

Coach Brian Denis’ quote: “Rami has worked so hard the past year to achieve his goal of becoming a district champion. He has really improved his tactical approach to the game, and that proved crucial in the championship match. He has certainly earned a well-deserved place among the list of all-time greats in Hollidaysburg’s tennis history.”

Favorite teacher: Mrs. Luke and Mrs. Solomon

Favorite subject: Biology

Favorite movie: “My Cousin Vinny”

Favorite food: Tabouli

Favorite artist: Justin Timberlake

Outside interests: Soccer, piano, spending time with my family and friends

Favorite professional team: Paris Saint Germain

Favorite college team: George Mason Patriots

Pro athlete most admired: Roger Federer

Best athlete I ever competed against: Newark (N.J.) Academy’s Alex Kotzen

Most influential person on my athletic career: “My parents and, of course, my brother Amir.”

Proudest athletic achievement: Competing in the international spring championship in Los Angeles

How I got my start in tennis: “I played in a clinic run by Matt Stopp and Jamie Taylor at the Blair Racquet Club.”

Future goal: Major in international business on a pre-med track

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