Pellican brothers unite

Tennis player gives credit to family

Federick William Becker II, Sports Writer

Aaron Pellican, an Illinois Valley Community College tennis star, shared his journey climbing the ladder to try and become the best athlete he could be.

Pellican finds himself in the No. 1 spot with hopes to help carry this year’s team to glory and compete at the national level. IVCC men’s tennis coach Julie Milota explained that Aaron’s second year on the team will come with more responsibility.

“Aaron doesn’t view himself as the leader on the team but he will have to adjust to the number one role,” Milota said.

She added that his positive attitude and high level of play will help him develop into a leader the team needs.

Pelican’s status as the alpha dog was not always the case, although he started at the ripe age of five. Aaron’s older brother, James Pellican, was the one matchup Aaron could not handle on the court. Aaron described James as being his biggest rival of all time.

Aaron has two brothers, both of which contributed something different that shaped him into the player he is today.

Aaron described Matthew as a teacher and someone who “showed me the ropes,” more than a rival on the court.

James would not hold back on young Aaron though, as Aaron explained.

“James wouldn’t take it easy on me. He loved to beat me on the court. His backhand was so silky,” Pellican said.

Both brothers played a big role in Aaron Pelican’s overall progression as a player. Pellican attributed his technique and form to Matthew and attributed his drive to James.

As Matthew was teaching Aaron the basics, James was teaching Aaron the drive that he would need to succeed.

Milota clearly sees how James’s style influenced Aaron. She went on to say that Aaron and James have a very similar, patient style.

“They both liked to wait and see how the opponent played, analyze it, and attack,” Milota explained.

When asked whether she would have James or Aaron on the team, Milota responded by saying, “I would have to choose both playing as a doubles team.”

With every promising athlete, critics will be involved in some way, shape, or form. Some critics have labeled Aaron Pellican as a cocky or overconfident player. But he assures there is nothing over the top about the level of confidence he plays with.

“People have to talk. You have to play with a swagger. Every athlete has to play with some swagger,” Pellican said.

Milota, who has seen Aaron play for over a year now, gave her unbiased opinion on the way he conducts himself on the court by saying,

“I don’t view Aaron as a cocky player. He may be a little overconfident, but he only displays confidence in things he has accomplished,” says Milota.

“I’d rather have a player who is comfortable rather than being nervous.”

As the season grows closer, Aaron has established a few goals to obtain.

As a team, he would like to see everyone on the team make it to nationals and personally, he wants to have a winning record at the No. 1 spot on the team, and make it past the second round of nationals.

Pellican was eliminated in the second round last year, but he hopes to take the next step forward in his 2018 campaign.

Aaron and his team’s season has begun. Check out some of their matches and their entire schedule on the new athletics website,