ernieErnesto Arguello is not only a fantastic tennis player but one of the most humble people at Bryant. He received a phone call a few weeks ago from Esteban Bedaña, the President of the Nicaraguan Tennis Federation, asking him to represent Nicaragua, his home country, in the 2013 games that will take place March 10th – March 17th in San Jose, Costa Rica. Ernesto will be competing against players from the six other Central American countries. Each country is allowed to bring its four best players but there are certain qualifications for a player to be chosen for this prestigious honor. The selection process requires players to be ranked in the highest level of play in their country and also be in good standing at their university, if applicable. Ernesto not only meets the requirements for good standing at Bryant University, but he goes beyond the Central American Games’ standards. Ernesto has never been just a student-athlete. He is also a peer tutor of accounting in the Academic Center for Excellence and a large supporter of the many other Bryant D1 athletics. The Central American Games will be the largest multi-sport event organized in Costa Rica to date. Some of the other sports played at the games include football, softball, swimming, roller speed, skating, gymnastics, baseball, bodybuilding, and fencing.

There are thirty-one events in total and the award system is quite similar to the Olympics in that gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded. Ernesto and all of the other tennis players will be competing in the Tenis del Parque de La Paz in San Jose.

The arrangement of the tennis portion of the Central American games is similar to a university match between two universities, except Ernesto will be playing both singles and doubles in the men’s division, he will also be playing co-ed doubles too. When asked how difficult it will be to play doubles with men and women who he hasn’t practiced very much with Ernesto said it wouldn’t be horribly difficult because he knows the other three men and four women from Nicaragua, but it will still be challenging because they are not used to one another.

One of the most interesting parts of the games and his participation in them is that he is going to be competing against tennis players who are internationally ranked and play the game for a living. It seems unbelievable that a sophomore in college would be competing with internationally ranked tennis players.

This is truly an enormous honor for Ernesto and anyone who has ever coached him, played with him, or against him. Ernesto will be missed during the seven days he is in Costa Rica by his teammates, but Coach Ron Gendron said, “It was a no brainer to excuse him [Ernesto] from an important three match stretch because at the end of the day, what an honor to represent your country. What a great moment for a Bryant Bulldog captain. We could not be prouder of him. Go Bulldogs!”Ernesto’s former captain Dan Cournoyer ’12 said, “We [teammates] are all very proud of Ernesto’s accomplishment. It’s something very few people have the opportunity to participate in, and there is no one more deserving than Ernesto.”

Good luck in Costa Rica next week Ernesto, the Bryant Bulldog community will all be cheering for you from our various spring break locations.