January 18, 2023

National champion tennis player named January Student of the Month

Takeshi Taco

Already a five-time national champion and two-time All-American, there is little left for Cowley College sophomore Takeshi Taco to accomplish at the school. However, the Business major returned for a third year to help the Tiger men’s tennis team continue its quest for a national championship after back-to-back national runner-up finishes. Along with his tennis success, Taco continues to excel in the classroom, as evidenced by his 3.74 overall grade point average. The Business major was recognized for his stellar work by being named the Cowley College January Student of the Month.

Taco came to Cowley from Lima, Peru. His parents are Maura Taco and Rossana Matos. Grandparents are Julio Aurelio Matos Arroyo and Felisa Fujiu Osejo, and Mauro Taco Huarch, and Amelia Rojas Alvarez. He has a sister, Karla Taco, and a brother, Aldo Taco.

Before coming to Cowley, Taco was ranked top-five nationally as a junior tennis player in his home country of Peru.

He made an immediate impact on the Tiger tennis team and the campus as a whole. As a freshman, Taco was the national champion at No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles as he helped the Tigers finish as the national runner-up.

He nearly duplicated that success as a sophomore, winning the No. 1 singles title and placing second at No. 1 doubles as Cowley made it back-to-back national runner-up finishes.

Taco considered moving on to a four-year school but decided to return to Cowley for one more run at a national team title.

“Cowley is my home and my family,” Taco said. “It has been a great two and a half years at the school, but my main goal is to help the tennis team win the national title.”
Taco is currently ranked No. 1 nationally in singles after winning back-to-back ITA CUP national championships. Together with his doubles partner Reiya Komagata, they are ranked third in the national rankings.

Along with his tennis success, he has been named the Student-Athlete of the Month, Male Student-Athlete of the Year, and now Student of the Month.

“He is not only a good tennis player but, most importantly, an outstanding student and human being,” Cowley head tennis coach Manny Raga said. “He is an excellent role model for Cowley College.”

Along with tennis, he serves as a resident assistant in the Storbeck Dormitory. Taco also volunteered at the Cowley County Humane Society for service learning and continued volunteering after his service learning hours were completed.

Taco credits his coaches, Manny and Ari Raga, for his development on the tennis court while crediting the instructors at Cowley for his success in the classroom.

“The coaches, Manny and Ari, are great communicators and give us what we need to be successful,” Taco said. “Every instructor and employee at Cowley makes this place special. I love Cowley so much that I came back for a third year.”

Taco has signed to play tennis and continue his education at nationally ranked NCAA Division II Valdosta State University in Georgia once his time at Cowley is over.

However, before he leaves, Taco hopes to bring home the Tiger tennis team’s first national championship since 1991.

“We have got to be a close unit as a team so that we can beat any challenge we are presented with,” Taco said. “I could not be happier to have started my college career at Cowley. Being named the Student of the Month is an honor for which very few are selected. This means so much to me because I give my best on and off the court.”

Rama Peroo | Director of Institutional Communication
Cowley College
125 S. 2nd Street
Arkansas City, KS 67005