JHS Girls’ Tennis: Talk with their racquet, play with their heart


Niki Patel, Staff Writer


The JHS girls’ tennis team is off to a terrific start this season with helpful guidance from Coach Joe Brooks and Assistant Coach Harmon Deal. In spite of the fact that the team lost five seniors last year, there are two returning seniors this year, Lucy Deal and Niki Patel. The varsity tennis team consists of six singles players – Lucy Deal, Payton Kent, Niki Patel, Ashlyn Eddings, Emma Bible, and Marisa Thompson. It has been exciting to welcome several new faces on the JV team. The JHS tennis team uses the Illinois College tennis court complex for all of their home meets. The good news is that there are numerous home meets this year, along with several away meets. Thus far, the score is tied at 2–2. The coaches have been applying new drills and strategies at practice in hopes of strengthening the team. According to the coaches, “Tennis is a game that requires endurance, quickness, and good hand–eye coordination.” They believe that through hard work and dedication, the girls have a chance of succeeding this year. Coach Deal says that the girls are “a good group of young players who have really shown a lot of improvement so far this season.”

This past Saturday was the annual Jacksonville Invite, which hosted seven teams from the schools encircling this area. The girls were dispersed in different places of the town including IC, MacMurray College, Jacksonville Country Club, and the YMCA. Lucy Deal placed second for the number one singles. In addition, Payton Kent and Ashlyn Eddings placed second for number two doubles. The entire team, the coaches, and all family members are very proud of these girls! The Lady Crimsons have also attended the Springfield and Central Illinois Invites and will be a part of the Chatham Invite next weekend.

Considering that there are multiple home meets left for the remainder of the season, the girls would love to have spectators come out and cheer them on. Singles matches are played first followed by doubles. Coaches Brooks and Deal are looking forward to what the outcome of this season holds. They enjoy spending roughly two hours of practice each day and the rides to away meets with a team of wonderful and supportive girls. As senior Lucy Deal mentions, “Along with the passion that accompanies the sport of tennis, there is also the blessing of having a team full of laughter that sticks together like a big family!”