Birmingham, Ala. - In a continuing effort to recognize the accomplishments of student-athletes beyond the field of competition, the SEC once again highlighted a Community Service Team for men's tennis for the 2020-21 season.
All league-sponsored sports have had a Community Service Team since 2004, with at-large teams for men's and women's sports being chosen from 1999-2003.
Sam Fischer • Alabama
Senior • Brentwood, Tenn.
A three-year member of the SEC Community Service Team, Crimson Tide senior Sam Fischer serves as the president of the Alabama Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, coordinating outreach for student-athletes and the community. In addition, he has given of his time to a number of outreach opportunities, including serving as an Alberta Head Start Classroom Reader, Read Across America Week, the Crimson Tide's Halloween Extravaganza and A Night to Shine, as well as mentoring students from Holy Spirit Catholic School. A three-time ITA Scholar-Athlete, he is majoring in biology.
Josh Bortnick • Arkansas
Junior • Mission Hills, Kan.
Josh has been a volunteer coach for tennis camps at local elementary schools in the Fayetteville area and participated in the Play for Team Luke tennis event. Play for Team Luke is a day-long charity fundraiser and auction in Fort Smith, Ark. that raises awareness and money for children with brain injuries. Outside of tennis he has also visited the Arkansas Children's Northwest Hospital in Springdale, Ark. to meet with kids and is involved in Shop with SAAC which raises money for children in the Fayetteville community.
Spencer Gray • Auburn
Sophomore • Boca Raton, Fla.
As a SAAC representative for men's tennis, Gray's most hands-on involvement came in the planning and collections for the Beat Bama food drive and the downtown Auburn Halloween Trunk or Treat, where he arranged for the whole tennis team to participate. He also collected donations and then went shopping for the Angel Tree Christmas project providing gifts to less-privileged youngsters. At home in Boca Raton, Fla., Gray is active as a volunteer for Love Serving Autism, a program that teaches tennis to kids with autism, helping them learn the game and improve their motor skills.
Sam Riffice • Florida
Junior • Orlando, Fla.
Florida's Sam Riffice, a junior from Orlando, has accounted for 18 hours of community service in the last two years and is on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at UF. Most notably, Sam has volunteered with the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank and UF Shands. He volunteered at Bread of the Mighty after the team visited to help sort donations and pack boxes of food for individuals and families in Gainesville. Due to the pandemic, student-athletes are not allowed to visit patients in the pediatric unit at UFHealth weekly as in years past. Sam and other student-athletes made posters and signs to let pediatric patients know that they are still being thought of. Sam also made posters with encouraging words and to celebrate birthdays and good news.
Billy Rowe • Georgia
Graduate • Coronado, Calif.
A 2020 member of the SEC Community Service Team while playing for Vanderbilt, Rowe has continued his volunteer efforts as a graduate transfer at the University of Georgia. Rowe, who is also a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member and 2019 All-American, is an active volunteer with non-profit Special Pops, a tennis program for individuals with special needs. In this role, Rowe teaches tennis and mentors the participants. In addition, he started the clothing drive within the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at UGA. Rowe and other SAAC members collected clothing and donated it to The Cottage Sexual Assault Center and Children's Advocacy Center, a non-profit in Athens, Ga., dedicated to raising awareness and facilitating the healing of individuals, families and communities affected by sexual violence and child abuse. Lastly, Rowe helped spearhead the "Giving Challenge" early this year, a partnership between Georgia SAAC and Auburn SAAC formed to gather donations to go towards supporting unhoused populations in Athens via Bigger Vision Community Shelter. He is currently getting a Master's of Science in Business Analytics.
Cesar Bourgois • Kentucky
Senior • Paris, France
César Bourgois led the Kentucky Wildcats men's tennis team in community service hours during a year that presented limited opportunities due to health and safety protocols. Bourgois provided multiple hours working with God's Pantry on campus, packaging and delivering food to local elementary schools in Lexington. The senior from Paris also spent multiple hours with Special Olympics Kentucky. The bulk of Bourgois' time was dedicated to the Wildcat Tennis Club, teaching local youth the game of tennis. Last year, Bourgois became the fourth player in school history named to the SEC Community Service Team in back-to-back seasons. He was also named to the Frank G. Ham Society of Character, honoring UK athletes who have shown an extraordinary commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, career preparation and serving as a role model. In addition to being named to the SEC Community Service Team in 2018 and 2019, he was also named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Nick Watson • LSU
Redshirt Sophomore • Baton Rouge, La.
Nick Watson has been giving back to the BTR Community for over ten years. Specifically, working with the Companion Animal Alliance, a local non-profit that focuses on increasing the save rate of animals in the community. They've taken in nearly 8,000 each year including cats, dogs, horses, wildlife, and exotic animals. The save rate of animals in Baton Rouge has increased to 86 percent since 2010 when the CAA was formed. Within CAA, Nick Watson has done various things throughout the year to help. He has volunteered with the 'Pets For Life' campaign, where he's done strategic outreach in the 70805 and 70802 zip codes, Baton Rouge's most under-served community where 38% of residents live below poverty. Watson reaches out to clients and in return, CAA provides free animal medical care, services, and information to people and their pets, removing barriers to resources for those facing socio-economic and geographic challenges.
Tim Sandkaulen • Ole Miss
Senior • Monchengladbach, Germany
Ole Miss senior Tim Sandkaulen is an active member of the Oxford, Mississippi community. Despite it being a difficult year due to COVID-19, Tim and his teammates were able to give back to their local community using their platform as Ole Miss student-athletes. Through the Universities' Feed the 'Sip program, the men's tennis team donated 35 grocery bags of food to children in need. The team partnered with three local elementary schools in the area to provide for impoverished families.
Through the Rebel Rocks programmed Tim and his teammates painted and decorated personalized rocks that were sent out to local retirement homes in the area. The act of sending the rocks was to provide a sense of family and acknowledgement to local senior citizens through the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting in March 2020, Sandkaulen and Alexa Bortles (Ole Miss women's tennis) created the Redshirt Corona Year Instagram account to bring student athletes together to make their case in their fight for an extra year of student-athlete eligibility. Through their efforts and advocation, Sandkaulen assisted in Ole Miss student-athletes gaining an extra year of sport eligibility. While campaigning for the cause, Sandkaulen and Bortles made an appearance on the Paul Finebaum Show to create awareness of the issue. Sandkaulen has played a key role in the formation of the UMity program at Ole Miss. Sandkaulen envisioned and made a UMity video expressing statements of anti-racism. Sandkaulen organized for student-athletes of many disciplines and backgrounds to be portrayed in the video. Sandkaulen wrote the script for the video as well. He devoted two months of his time from creation to posting on social media and the universities athletics website. Sandkaulen worked closely with Dr. Jennifer Saxon and Rebel football player Momo Sanogo. Additionally, Sandkaulen was featured by Ole Miss Athletics for NCAA Diversity and Inclusion Week in October. Sandkaulen is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Black Student-Athlete Council (BSAC) at Ole Miss.
Phillip Jordan • South Carolina
Freshman • Spartanburg, S.C.
Phillip Jordan started his Gamecock career giving back to the community by regularly volunteering at Mobile Meals, delivering food to those in need. On the tennis courts, he has also held exhibitions at a local club.
Andrew Rogers • Tennessee
Senior • Brentwood, Tenn.
Since arriving in Knoxville, senior Andrew Rogers has made it a point to make sure his impact on Rocky Top is felt far beyond the confines of Barksdale Stadium. Over the last four years, Rogers has given back in a number of ways, including his work with the Knoxville Area Rescue Mission, Love Kitchen, Knoxville's branch of Big Brothers Big Sisters and his work at local elementary schools during the Movin & Groovin Health Fair. Rogers has also given his time as the Tennessee Tennis team's SAAC rep for the last two seasons and was also a member of the 2019 VOLeaders Cohort that traveled to Rwanda in Central Africa. The Brentwood, Tennessee native through the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic of the last year has continued to give back to his school and community, despite the different circumstances. He was also a constant voice and presence as the nation felt the effects of its lasting social and racial injustices. He participated in and provided support in the planning and execution of Tennessee Athletics March on My Campus in August of 2020. As he gets ready to depart Tennessee following his graduation in May, Rogers hopes to continue to impact the world in ways that have nothing to do with tennis.
Guido Marson • Texas A&M
Junior • Pordenone, Italy
Texas A&M men's tennis representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Guido Marson also participated in the 20th year of AGGIES CAN. AGGIES CAN started in 2000 with a handful of student-athletes wanting to give back to the community that gave so much to them. What started out as an idea to have a collection at one football game, has grown into the largest student-athlete volunteer run canned food drive in the nation. The collections will help give back and impact the Brazos Valley. Texas A&M student-athletes asked for help in collecting monetary donations to benefit the Brazos Valley Food Bank & The 12th Can.
Adam Sraberg • Vanderbilt
Senior • Los Angeles, Calif.
Adam Sraberg is the Commodores' 2020-21 member of the SEC Men's Tennis Community Service Team. Sraberg is an active participant in Vanderbilt's Dancing Dores program, which is a program made up of Commodore student-athletes participating in the annual Vanderbilt Dance Marathon - the largest student-led philanthropic organization on Vanderbilt's campus - that builds relationships with local children and families served at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt while also raising funds to help the hospital serve the children and their families through difficult times. Sraberg also works throughout the year with Miracle Children that are part of the Children's Hospital's network, offering them the chance to be a part of the men's tennis program through active participation and interaction with members of the program. Away from the Vanderbilt community, Sraberg has spearheaded the effort to get the team involved with Buena Vista Academy in Nashville. With students, Sraberg and the Commodores teach tennis and volunteer time for activities of all kinds.