Youth Travels from WY to Compete in State Games - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Youth Travels from WY to Compete in State Games

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The Big Sky State Games are underway. Athletes range in all ages and compete in more than 60 different events. While most events begin Saturday, some, including tennis, began on Friday.

"This tournament I hope to learn what it's like to play in such a big tournament and I hope to meet somebody that can give me some pointers on how to play better, work on my forehand some, my slice, stuff like that," says Gaston Osterland, a 14-year-old tennis player from Cody who just started playing tennis less than two years ago. He is determined to learn from this tournament. It's the biggest one he's participated in. "The Big Sky State Games offers me a variety of people to play against, see other styles of playing."

Osterland competed for his first time in the Big Sky State Games. Prior to this, he only played in local tournaments in Cody, but wanted to branch.

"This is his third tournament this summer so we've spent a lot of time on the sidelines watching him play but we all enjoy it very much," says Nikki Osterland, Gaston's mother. She and her husband, Alan Osterland, support their son's drive to compete in tournaments, and encourage him to continue to grow. "He has grown a lot not just as a tennis player but as an athlete. He has learned a lot of good life lessons and it's just been a really good experience for him."

"I want to be able to meet other people and get to learn stuff from them," says Gaston Osterland. When asked what he wanted most from this tournament, Gaston says, "just a sense of having done well. I want to be able to play to my best ability and just play my heart out in every game that I play. Never give up."

Gaston Osterland is just one of the determined athletes competing in this year's Big Sky State Games. The games continue through the weekend, with the last day being on Sunday.