(Front row l-r:) Madelyn Frogge, Haley Burchett, Sydney Humble, Hope Hancock, Aldrich Martinez, Micah Burchett
(Back row l-r:) Coach Ronnie Sexton, Cammie Roberts, Olivia Hall, Kayla Upchurch, Hunter Criswell, Jace Horton, Trenton Decker
(Not pictured:) Taylor Keith
In small communities like Wayne County, basketball and football are always the well-known sports. They have pep sections and always have had a full crowd at each game, however less popular sports tend to be overlooked.
In 2004, Coach Hardin Phillips and Coach Steve Thompson started Wayne County High School's first tennis team. Coach Hardin was a conditioning/basketball coach and Coach Thompson was a volleyball coach. Therefore, the players and the coaches learned the sport together. All the players were always so grateful to these two coaches for even giving the high school students a chance for a tennis team.
Five years ago, Coach Ronnie Sexton took over the High School Girls Tennis Team. Coach Sexton saw the potential of his players, but not being able to start until high school hurt Wayne County players with their competitors. This year, he pushed for a boys/girls middle school tennis team and got it. The new team will provide a feeder ssystem so students that aspire to play varsity tennis will have a leg up. It is always such a blessing to see Wayne County Schools evolving with smaller sports like tennis, however it would not have been possible without a coach.
On September 14, 2019, the first middle school tennis team played their first ever game. Wayne County Middle School hosted Meece Middle School. All of the middle school tennis teams in nearby counties, struggle to get players, however, Wayne County has a decent amount of players. Since there were not any girls that attended the game from Meece, all of the local girls played boys.
Olivia Hall was down during her singles match 1-3 right off the bat, when she took back the game and received the first win of the day with 6-4. Haley Burchett dominated her singles match with her overall score being 6-1.
The Wayne County Middle School players have only been practicing for approximately a month and a half, so Wayne County Middle did fall short against Meece Middle. However, all of the players played their little hearts out and went down in Wayne County Schools history for the FIRST ever Middle School Tennis Team.
A huge thank you to Coach Ronnie Sexton for helping making this possible, along with the support of the Wayne County School District. Wayne County Schools provide all kinds of extra-curricular opportunities for the students to become more involved in their educations.
Olivia Hall at the fence
(l-r:) Cammie Roberts, Kayla Upchurch, Hayley Burchett, and Sydney Humble
Madelyn Frogge returning the ball
Cammie Roberts returning the ball
Hunter Criswell serving the ball
Olivia Hall swings her racket to return the ball
Kayla Upchurch ready to return the ball
Sydney Humble returning a ball