CCHS tennis begins 2017 season

The tennis program at Chilton County High School began in 2007 and a decade later has grown to include 15 members that compete in boys, girls and doubles action.

Laurel Adams is in her first season as head coach, but has been around the team for quite some time, as a parent and teacher at CCHS.

According to Adams, the familiarity has made the transition a smooth one.

The top three players on the team are all seniors, which gives Adams added hope entering the 2017 season.

“They have proven to be really good leaders,” Adams said. “The other players look up to them.”

Price Walker earned the top ranking on the boys team, while Ada Ruth Huntley will be the top seed on the girls team.

“I try to play a few times a week,” Walker said. “You want these younger guys to see you out here working, so that they can get the incentive, because they are going to be the ones taking my spot in the future.”

Huntley has held the No. 1 spot every year since joining the squad in seventh grade. That was nothing out of the ordinary for Huntley, who began playing tennis at 5 years old and was competing at 8.

“It definitely puts a lot of pressure on you because everybody expects you to be perfect all the time,” Huntley said. “I’ve enjoyed the challenge, and it has been such a big impact on my life. It is the part of high school that I’m going to miss the most.”

Huntley has tried her best not to think about the fact that she is entering her senior season and the last of her high school career.

“This is always what I’ve done, so it makes for a very special year,” Huntley said. “It’s going to be weird not having that anymore.”

A majority of Chilton County’s schedule includes fellow Class 6A programs that have been around for a longer period of time and have become established as powers within the state each and every year.

The Tigers remain a young program in comparison to those schools, but are continuing to grow the interest of students.

“We’ve gotten a lot of players into the game that otherwise wouldn’t have been there,” Chilton County assistant coach Jay Hurd said.

This year’s schedule is comprised of 14 matches with sectionals wrapping up the year and determining whether or not players qualify for the state competition.

There will be plenty of opportunities for the community to show their support, with 10 of the 14 matches played at home on the tennis courts at Clanton City Park.

“Tennis is an individual sport for the most part,” Adams said. “When they are out there, they know that it is all up to them.”

Adams is joined by Hurd and Herman Washington as assistant coaches with the team, who are also certified members of the United States Professional Tennis Association.

“Tennis is a game that requires a lot of things as an athlete,” Washington said. “We’ve got a good group of kids this year, and I’m pleased with the progress they have made.”

The Tigers opened up the season on Feb. 9 against Thompson High School. The first home match is set for Feb. 13 at 3:30 p.m. against Wetumpka.

 

 

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