Tennis team ready to swing into action in 2013
by Sparta Live | March 10, 2013 12:00 am
The White County High School tennis team will get their season underway Tuesday at McMinnville against District 6AAA foe, Warren County.
Despite graduating almost her entire boys’ varsity line-up, Coach Nicole Delaney feels that the competition for varsity spots has been the strongest this season in all her four years as coach of the tennis team.
“The girls are truly battling for positions and have seen many matches come down to a decision by one or two games. At this time, the top spots have been decided. The boys are in the same boat with top spots decided, but battling for a number 6 singles’ position.”
There are seven seniors on this year’s team. They are Crockett Sewell, Ethan James, Greg Butcher, Cody Matthews, Cheyanna Jones, Gabriella Farley and Emily West.
Delaney discussed those seven, “My seniors this year are a mix of experience, patience and new coming surprises. On the boys’ side, I have one of my all-time favorite players and the hardest working athlete I have coached in Crockett Sewell. Crockett was a freshman when I began coaching and he and I have truly come a long way together. I am so thankful for his patience. I can’t say enough positive comments about Crockett. He played number one last year and will resume that role. Not only that, but has taken it upon himself to be a mentor and leader to everyone on the team and I am truly grateful for his devotion to the sport of tennis. The boys’ team will see two seniors that have persevered and remained patient for their time after graduating the entire varsity, with the exception of Sewell. Greg Butcher and Ethan James will step into varsity singles and doubles spots this year. Cody Matthews is a senior that is just joining us and may see some varsity time as well.
“On the girls’ team, I have Cheyanna Jones returning back in the number one singles’ spot. Cheyanna will be leading a mostly, very young team. I look to her for team leadership and know she will work hard to have success at number one with a year of experience behind her. Emily West will play vital supporting roles on the varsity as well, as will newcomer Gabriella Farley who has been a pleasant surprise.”
Delaney added the following about some of her returners, “Returners that will make a difference are Lacee Hitchcock, Greg Butcher, Ethan James, and Sarah Ward. Lacee has fantastic spirit and work ethic and will do a beautiful job as a leader and motivator for her team. She is one of those players that has dedication and makes you want to be a better player and person just by being around her. Sarah is a solid varsity player as are Greg and Ethan. The boys are going to have new experiences as top varsity players with the girls having a year under their belt that will definitely benefit them.”
Delaney talked about the line-up for both the girls’ and the boys’ teams.
“Several of my sports are set with Cheyanna Jones at number one and Lacee Hitchcock solid at two. Freshman Megan Holland is taking the three spot, and Sarah Ward comes in at four. Several girls are still looking to earn their spot in a singles role at this time and all really have experience and work ethic to be varsity tennis players.
“For the boys’, my line-up is all new with the exception of Sewell at number one. Ethan James will start at two singles. Freshman Mitchell Lamb will play three with Kent Sapp and Greg Butcher rounding out the top five.”
Having lost some key players from last season, Delaney commented on some newcomers to watch, “My obvious newcomers to watch are Megan Holland and Mitchell Lamb. Megan has worked extremely hard this summer and has developed a love for tennis that reminds me of myself. You can just see the passion in her eyes. Megan is athletic and has a great feel for the court as well as beautiful tennis strokes. Mitchell played this summer, is athletic and moves very well to the ball. I look for big things from both of these players in the future.”
While the team is looking to excel on the court, two members have more than excelled in the classroom as well. The tennis team boasts having the valedictorian and salutatorian of the Class of 2013. Sewell is the valedictorian and West is the salutatorian.
Delaney wrapped up, “I am very proud of Crockett and Emily for their success in the classroom. They are two people that I am proud to have been a part of their lives. It is going to be a great year for WCHS tennis and I am proud of each and every player on this team. I have seen so many great things from so many players with regard to hard work and dedication that it makes me proud to say I am a Tennis Warrior!”