Dick Hill became one of Mike's first friends when he moved to Libertyville. He was one of the better athletes in the school (football, basketball and baseball) and was very good in all. He was friends with Charlie Durang, and that's how Mike met him. Dick was a "born again" Christian, and he attended the local Evangelical Free Church in town. He was more-or-less "attached" to Joan Rasmussen, who became a friend of Maureen's as they shared the bus to school. Mike knew her, as well.
Although Dick took his religion seriously, he didn't "wear it on his sleeve". It didn't prevent him from being an important person in the school: the athleic achievements took care of that. When Mike looked into tennis at LFHS, there was a team forming, and Dick agreed to join the fledgling team and play doubles with Mike. Dick had never played tennis before, but his overall athletic skills were enough, along with Mike's experience, to do well with this team; they became the #1 Doubles team. They also won most of their matches, giving the team enough points in meets that the team was highly ranked in the conference, even though it was a new sport in the school. Their talent was somewhat "raw", and when they played teams in other districts (e.g. Lake Forest), they really couldn't compete against players with "country club" backgrounds. In their own district (pretty much comprised of farm communities), they were usually successful.
Mike and Dick won the Conference Championship in Doubles in their Senior year, and this got Mike entry into the school's Varsity Club. He then had the privilege of wearing a school "letter sweater"...although Dick had several "bars" on his from other sports. Dick gave up his baseball career in the last 2 years to play tennis with Mike - leading to the pinnacle of Mike's tennis "success".
Upon graduation, both went to college, with Dick attending a small Christian school in Illinois, Wheaton College. His major was Religion, with a plan to become a minister in the Evangelical Free Church. The guys saw little of each other during those years, as Dick went on to graduate and Mike moved to Evanston with his parents after his ill-fated sophomore year.
Mike had a "religious experience" while in Libertyville, while attending a "summer camp" that Dick's church sponsored, over in Indiana. This had a potent impact on Mike, as he "saw the Light" and accepted Jesus as his Savior. Mike came back from this camp, and was insufferable and annoying to his family and others at school. He felt this "religious conversion" had changed his life, but it made those around him uncomfortable.