Note: The following appears in the Duke gameday football program
At the age of nine, Tate Schroeder began her journey of becoming a member of Clemson’s tennis team. Growing up, Schroeder tried many different sports and ended up being very good at baseball. However, her stepfather, Dave Shear, figured she should try one more sport that she could pursue at a different level…tennis.
For most kids, their dream is to become a professional in their favorite sport, and that was Schroeder’s dream. Playing national tournaments at a young pre-teen age, she developed the confidence that she could play in college.
Nonetheless, that aspiration would not have been possible without her mother, Teresa Petranovich. After working her dream job with the Denver Broncos for 22 years, her mother understood the sacrifice she needed to make to give her daughter the best opportunity to reach the college level.
Therefore, her family moved from Colorado to Florida so Schroeder could attend IMG Academy to receive better training and exposure. With the dedication and support of her family, Schroeder earned a scholarship to Missouri, where she played her freshman season in 2016-17.
In August 2017, Schroeder decided to transfer and quickly realized there was no place like Clemson. The family atmosphere of Clemson, and the coaching staff that took a chance on her, won her over.
“It’s something that you don’t see at a lot of other colleges,” said Schroeder of the spirit of Clemson’s community.
During her time at Clemson, she has grown to love the tennis program that she is a part of. Her favorite memory as player was when Clemson beat Ohio State in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Championships. It had been a difficult season, because the tennis team did not have a home facility due to renovations. However, that did not prevent the Tigers from “putting their noses down and grinding,” which ultimately led them to upsetting the Buckeyes.
Representing Clemson with a Tiger Paw on her uniform is an opportunity that Schroeder does not take for granted. Through her move to Clemson, she felt blessed to be in the situation she is in. As a late transfer, she is grateful that the Tiger coaches understood her situation and were willing to give her a chance.
Schroeder’s goal is to become a professional tennis player once her college career ends. But first, the psychology major expects to graduate in May 2020. She plans to help other people through nursing, ministry or counseling. With her care for others, she has become an exceptional addition to the Tiger team.
Excited for the 2018-19 season under 22nd-year head coach Nancy Harris, Schroeder and the rest of the Tigers expect to have a successful year in their new home, the Duckworth Family Tennis Facility, which will be ready for action when the Tigers open the spring season in January.