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Athlete of the Week – Belen Nevenhoven

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Auburn's Belen Nevenhoven will go down as one of the best tennis players in Rockford history. Going undefeated her senior year, but stripped of getting a chance to compete in the state tournament because of the pandemic after finishing second last year.

"It wasn't even just playing the match, just the whole environment of state," said Nevenhoven. "Being there with your family and people from Rockford coming up and being there with your team. It was such an amazing feeling even my teammates would say the same thing even if they weren't playing."

When Belen served her last ball at Sectionals, she knew that it was the end of her career in high school.

"On Sectionals when I finished my match I was like, 'wow it's done forever'," said Nevenhoven. "I still don't think it has completely set in but I'm sure when it's like a year from now and it's the fall time and it's not the high school season I'm going to be like, 'oh, this is sad,' and I'm never going to have that again."

Belen's family has a rich history of tennis behind it. Her mom and aunt played, and her brother currently plays at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

"Since it's my family it's so normal. Everyone always brings up my aunt who finished the same place as me," said Nevenhoven. "For me, it's normal but when I really think about it, that's really cool. My whole family, that's what we're known for, and people actually remember us for that."

Belen Nevenhoven, keeping the family tradition, going undefeated, and leaving her own legacy for the Lady Knights.

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Sam Knox

Sam joined the WREX news team in the Spring of 2020.

He graduated from Emerson College in May of 2020, just two days before moving to Rockford to take the job at WREX as a Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter. He majored in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Sports Communication.

Sam is originally from Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and has been an avid sports fan his whole life. He played basketball and baseball in high school, and he went on to play collegiate baseball at Emerson.

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