Season And Career Take A Detour

Senior David Youngs lines up a forehand during the team's spring trip to Florida this year. (Pic courtesy of Jeff Meyers)
Senior David Youngs lines up a forehand during the team's spring trip to Florida this year. (Pic courtesy of Jeff Meyers)

MOORHEAD — Concordia senior David Youngs had his ideal post-college job lined up in January after he accepted a sports-related job with a Twin Cities-based tech company.

A communications studies and multimedia journalism major, it combined sports, writing and interacting with people.

"This position for me, it was something that had my name all over it," said Youngs, who plays on the Cobber men's tennis team.

Months later, the coronavirus pandemic shut down the sports world, changed the economy and Youngs saw his ideal job offer rescinded near the end of March.

"It was tough," he said. "I have no hard feelings toward the company that had hired me. In the sports world, not a lot is happening right now."

The Fargo South graduate is scheduled to graduate in early May and has grown used to doing the school work via distance learning. Youngs, however, does miss being around his teammates, friends and classmates.

"The social side of college and seeing people around campus, that's really where it's begun to sting the last couple days," he said.

The COVID-19 outbreak has created uncertainty in his job search since the offer from the tech company was canceled. Youngs was slated to serve as a marketing and media coordinator; duties that included traveling to tennis tournaments to help develop the official app for different events, working with players, fans and the tournament staff.

"It's a punch in the gut," said Vic Youngs, the longtime head boys tennis coach at Fargo South. "We were so happy for him, to find a job that combines his love of tennis, sports … and writing. David has turned into a really wonderful writer. It was so nice to see him get that locked up in January. What a relief. … The world has turned upside down unfortunately."

David was off to a solid start in his final season with the Cobbers. Concordia had played in 14 team duals with a 5-9 record before the season was halted near the middle of March. He had an 8-5 record primarily playing No. 3 singles.

"He was really having a good time and having great success," Vic said.

David said he was in class when he got a buzz on his phone. Someone in his group chat broke the news that the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference cancelled all its spring sports. He could tell his senior tennis season was heading in that direction with pro sports leagues starting to suspend their seasons and the NCAA announcing it was cancelling its remaining winter and spring tournaments before the MIAC announcement.

"At that point, it wasn't a shock," David said. "It was a good decision for safety concerns. … But there is something about when they finally make that announcement that it just kind of hits you."

David said he feels lucky because tennis is a lifelong sport that he will be able to play even though his college career is over. He has thought about going to graduate school, but his current plan is to try to find another job.

"I'm thankful that I'm young. I'm someone that can work hard," said David, who is 22 years old. "I try to take that positivity with me that, hey, I gotta find something else. There's going to be different bends in the road in life and this is one of them. At the same time, there has been a lot of stress."

As David is trying to start his career, his father's is coming to an end. Vic is retiring after around a 35-year career in both teaching and coaching. He had retired as the boys tennis coach after leading the Bruins to the North Dakota boys state team tennis championship last October. Vic was asked to be the interim girls tennis coach at South this spring, but that season has been suspended indefinitely.

"We've had one meeting and I've sent out four emails and that's it," Vic said with a laugh. "That was my first position at South as well. So it was going to be kind of a fun full circle thing.

"A weird way to go out, but weird for everybody."

David said he's continued to look for jobs online, while finishing the semester. He's grateful for what he does have, including a supportive family and a strong circle of friends.

"There's people during the virus that have it a whole lot worse than I do," David said.