Tennis serves up a dominating season

From Issue 10

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Prep’s tennis ‘A’ team

This year the 2020-2021 tennis team had an excellent season considering the circumstances. Last year the team only played one match against North West Rankin before COVID.  Tryouts for the team were held this October, and tryouts for the A, B, and developmental team occurred in January. Coach Rachel Causey and assistant coach Gill Burke played an important role in the team’s success. Coach Causey was very proud of the team and said, “It was an incredible year after not getting to play in 2020 due to COVID. Our team was extremely close, and was willing to work together to accomplish the best lineup for the good of the group. As a result, we were able to place at the top for boys and second for girls. I was proud of the unselfishness of this year’s team and happy to lead them to these titles. The leadership from this year’s senior class was awesome!” 

The first match for A team was with North West Rankin where the team fell 3-4, and the B team kicked the season off with a match at the Rez. While the A team lost their first match, they finished their regular season play with a 7-2 record and 5-0 in 5A conference play. 

One of Prep’s biggest rivals is Jackson Academy, and the tennis team had a close win of 5-4. On April 28, the team competed in the MAIS 5A Championship. The boys were the 5A state champions and the girls were the runner ups. The players who participated in the state championship and finalists included: Ivey Yelverton (Boy 1 Singles); Lytle Moore (Boys 2 Singles); Madeleine Conerly and Lily Flowers (Girls 1 Doubles); Kennedy Cleveland and Emma Dye (Girls 2 Doubles). Winners included: Ethan Aldrige and Andrew Sweat (Boys 1 Doubles); Michael Causey and Barnabas Spivey (Boys 2 Doubles); Lampton Moore and Rosy Ruffin (Mixed Doubles).

Seniors ended their season with a banquet highlighting the results of this year, and awards were given out for each team. When senior Emma Dye, who has been on the team since 6th grade, was asked about her experience, she said, “Being on the Jackson Prep tennis team has definitely been one of my favorite parts of high school. I started playing tennis when I was five and have been playing for Prep since sixth grade.I would say my favorite memories on the team consisted of winning a state title with Brittany Wilkinson when I was in 8th grade, trips to Memphis, the state tournament, and the bus rides. Throughout the years I have seen many of my teammates graduate. I stay in touch with many of them and have loved getting to know my new teammates each year. I have also loved getting to know Coach Causey as well. She cares about her players on and off the court, and I have loved being coached by her. It is crazy to think that my Prep tennis career is coming to a close after seven years, but I am looking forward to continuing to play this “lifelong” sport.”

If you are interested in joining the tennis team, tryouts will be in October.