The tennis community is excited to see the continued growth of the sport in Webster County.
Once again, we hit a new high of those participating in our summer program, with just shy of 100 kids playing at either the 10U, 12U, 14U or 18U divisions! As always, we do not pit kids from each side of the county against one another, but try to build relationships between them through the sport by combining everyone on mixed teams.
At the 10U division, over 20 kids participated! Cliff Jernigan was the head coach of these kids, and taught them the basics of the game like scoring, lines and serving. Ten and Under players use a softer ball and smaller court to make it a little easier for them.
The kids also enjoyed playing “fun” games at the end of each practice like jailbreak. Jailbreak is a game that rewards kids for successfully returning a ball that is hit to them and is always a player favorite. Hopefully the kids will stick with the sport because if they do, the future is bright for our varsity tennis programs.
Our 12U kids were coached by David Keen with assistance from several of our varsity players. Twelve and Under players use a more firm ball than the 10U players do, and they also begin using the full-size court. We were excited that our 12U program was awarded a bid to the state championship and even though the kids did not have much success as a team, several of the kids won their courts against some stiff competition.
Belle Powell and Gracie Burton volunteered to work with our 14U division players this year. Nearly 20 kids were playing in this division as well, but unfortunately we did not receive a bid for the tournament. However, the kids had a great time practicing, getting instruction and playing for the past several weeks.
Webster County fielded three 18U teams this summer and played against other teams in the Golden Triangle area. Two of our three teams were awarded bids to the state tournament.
The Webster Maroon team had a strong showing at state beating both Neshoba and Grenada, while only losing to Jackson Prep by a handful of games. The Maroon team was coached this year by Mason Brand, who also played for the team.
Robbie Brown coached the Webster White team and it also had a good showing beating Pontotoc County and losing in two close matches versus The Club at Township and Lawrence County.
Do you have a child that might be interested in playing, or believe that they are too old to begin? We have kids that began playing for the first time in every division this summer. Tennis is a sport you can play for a lifetime! Don’t forget, fall season will begin in October.
For more information about tennis in the Golden Triangle area contact Randee Jernigan at 662-312-1531, Rob Turner at 662-255-8433 or visit the Mississippi United States Tennis Association website at www.mstennis.com.