Tigers tennis teams making strides

Published 5:42 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Winning records: Chilton County’s boys tennis team has posted a 5-3 record so far this season, while the girls are 6-2.

Chilton County tennis continues to progress; this season the evidence is fielding a full girls teams, unlike last year.

Sophomores Anna Adams and Mary Colby Kelley are the only two girls players back from last season, but an influx of new players allows the Tigers to compete at all six singles and three doubles positions for the first time.

“It has been wonderful to have two full teams with alternates,” coach Emily Espenan said. “Interest in tennis has increased, which is great. Hopefully, the program will continue to grow.”

Leigh Anna Shavers, a junior, is the only non-sophomore in the top six.

The others are: Laura Evans, Anna Bearden and Krissi Ann Jones. The alternates are senior Taylor Chandler and seventh grader Francia Lopez.

“The girls have improved since last year,” said Bearden, who along with Bearden is a team captain. “We are working hard to keep our wins consistent.”

The boys, meanwhile, return four of their top six players from last season: freshman Nicholas Lyn and sophomores Chase Baker, Rett Russell and Cameron Blackmon.

New players in the top six are senior Nathan Hudson and junior A.J. Davidson.

Eighth grader Conner Morgan and sophomore Michael Seaton are the boys alternates.

“We have big plans for the season and are hopeful to go to state,” said Lyn, who is a captain along with Russell. “We love all the support from the community and hope to see everyone at our matches.”

The CCHS girls are 6-2 on the season after a win over Jemison on Monday; the boys also have a winning record at 5-3.

“We have played some challenging teams so far and come away with a win because my players are determined, hard working, and talented,” Espenan said. “They always give it their best. The road to the sectionals tournament in April is not easy, but I am confident in my teams and I know that they will do a great job and make me proud.”