Clarke Central High School tennis team members practice after school on Jan. 31 at the CCHS tennis courts. CCHS head varsity tennis coach Stephen Hinson hopes to strengthen the boys team and expects the season to be a good one. “We picked up some new players this year. We can make it (to state). I think it’s going to make us a better boys team this year than last year,” Hinson said. Photo by Elena Webber
The Clarke Central High School tennis team, coached by Stephen Hinson and Brook Craft, is practicing for the upcoming season with hopes for improvement and a fun time.
Following the renovations at Clarke Central High School, the girls and boys tennis teams are back to practicing two days a week at the CCHS courts, getting ready for the 2018 season.
The season kicks off with their first match on Feb. 6 at Winder-Barrow High School at 4:00 p.m. The coaches and athletes are excited for what is to come.
“I’m really anxious regarding the boys because there is a likeliness we’ll go to state. This is a really good team,” head varsity tennis coach Stephen Hinson said. “We’re very deep and I got a lot of players. It’s going to be hard to pick players to start but it’s going to be interesting to see what happens.”
As for the girls team, many of the last year’s players graduated, making the team this year younger and less experienced.
“A problem from last year is that I graduated six of my seven starting girls,” Hinson said. “It’s going to be an uphill climb but everybody is very positive, very hard working and a lot of fun.”
CCHS senior and varsity tennis player Mary Carroll Waller agrees with Hinson about the younger girls team, however she does not believe the team will be held back from doing their best and having fun.
“It’ll just be a little rough at first but I think with a lot of drills and practice we can get back to how we used to be,” Waller said. “I’m just excited to get to know new people and play tennis with these people. It’ll be fun.”
CCHS senior and varsity tennis player Christopher Dellaria is also looking forward to his final season as a part of the CCHS tennis team.
“I’m definitely going to take on more of a leadership role this year just because I’ve been doing this four years and there’s some new people on the team,” Dellaria said. “I want to make this last year really good and try to win a lot of matches.”
With practices Tuesdays and Thursdays for girls and Mondays and Wednesdays for boys, the team is ready to come into the season strong.
“(My favorite part about coaching is) the satisfaction (of) seeing kids when they start developing their skills. They gain a lot of confidence,” Hinson said. “It’s a really difficult sport so seeing kids when they’re so happy about learning how to do a certain thing, it’s just a great feeling.”