By Paige Grady
The Ranger tennis season is rapidly approaching, and the players are becoming pretty anxious.
A few of the players have noted specific goals that they want the team as a whole to meet along with some personal. Like in any sport, the Ranger tennis team’s biggest goal is to advance to Nationals, after competing throughout the season, and the four rounds in the State Tournament.
Making it to Nationals this season would be a dream come true for all the sophomores—Joseph Shidler, Madison Jarrell, Macey Magee, Anna Rosenbaum, Derravia Carpenter, Tyler Newman, Chip Malone, Jon Morgan Bell and Christian Scott. All of these players are hoping to not only dominate on the court but also to be smart about plays, mature during all the matches and come together to work well. Madison Jarrell, women’s double, wants the team to obtain an all-around better record this year to gain respect that other Northwest sports have.
“Everyone on the team is definitely a key player, because everyone has so much potential to win in their spots.Anybody on our team can have a good day and help us get a win on both doubles and singles,” Jon Morgan Bell, a sophomore tennis player studying communications, said.
Even though every athlete taking part in this sport is a key player, Joseph Shidler, studying general college, is one to look out for this season. Shidler made it all the way to state finals in 2014, and his fellow teammates can agree that he is smartest on the court; he knows what swings, foot placements and bodily maneuvers would work best at certain moments
“Shidler knows how to kick up the level in the clutch moments and mentors the other members of the team when he has the chance,” Thomas Hall, a freshman tennis player, said.
Chelsea Jarrell is also a player to watch out for in the coming season because of her positive leadership and her strengths in the game.
Troy Howell, women’s and men’s tennis coach, is said to take care of all of his players. He expects his athletes to perform excellent in the classroom and on the court.
Bell states that, ”He [Coach Howell] always has our best interest in mind and wants us to have fun.” His main goal for the season is to also make it to the State Tournament and hopefully to Nationals.
Lastly, a few of the players believe that Itawamba Community College will be their biggest competitor this season. They are known to be first in state in tennis, but Malone proclaims that on any given day, our guys can beat their guys.
The team’s first game is at home on March 16, at 1 p.m. against Northeast.