|High Desert Tennis Association|
Saturday, May 29, 2004
Crash claims tennis star Kory Rudow
By MARK A. PEINADO/Staff Writer
VICTORVILLE — A traffic collision in Spring Valley Lake has claimed the life of local tennis star Kory Rudow.
The 21-year-old had turned onto Ridgecrest Road from Pebble Beach Drive when his Nissan Maxima was broadsided by a Chevy Suburban on Thursday afternoon. Rudow was airlifted to Loma Linda Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 7:23 p.m. Thursday night, according to the coroner’s report.
Rudow was a standout on the court at Sultana High School and Victor Valley College.
"He loved the game and loved the people. He was really selfless,” former Sultana boys tennis coach Jim Kutch said. “He was a good player but never boastful. He was never condescending. I shed a few tears on this one.
"It’s a sad day. He was a friend of mine. He was a great person and a good student. He was always willing to help me and help his peers. He was a real good ambassador for tennis in the High Desert."
Rudow gave back to his community and is one of the most respected athletes to ever grace a High Desert tennis court, according to friends and mentors like Pat Jenkins and Jim Taper.
"I'm still totally in shock. I feel so bad for the parents,” said Jenkins, Rudow’s tennis coach for two years at VVC. “Kory was a great kid, so full of life. It’s one of those things you don't want to believe. He had so much energy and was so much fun to be around. It was a total blessing to anyone who knew him. I'm going to miss the kid."
Rudow graduated from Sultana High in 2001. He was the 2001 Daily Press Boys Tennis Player of the Year and reached the second round of the CIF-Southern Section individual playoffs. He also excelled at VVC, helping revive a dormant tennis program there.
"He was a really funny, goofy guy; he was really outgoing,” said Tristen Anders, a VVC teammate of Rudow's. “He was full of support, and he was an all-around good guy."
Anders' friendship with Rudow goes back to when the two played on local tennis courts as youngsters. They played doubles tennis together at tournaments around Southern California.
"We had a good friendship,” Anders said. “We took all kinds of classes together (at VVC). We lived on the tennis court together. He’s irreplaceable. I'll never find another doubles player as good as Kory."
In his free time away from the classroom, Rudow assisted children at Spring Valley Lake Country Club and was also an assistant coach at Hesperia High.