Knights to compete in inaugural year

Published 10:40 am Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Five years ago, Keith Nix didn’t plan on being headmaster of Oak Mountain Classical School, now Westminster School. He really didn’t imagine being in charge of a tennis team that will be led by one of the Top 100 players in the Southeast — Ryan Combs.

“I thought it would take a long time to start a tennis program,” Nix said. “It wasn’t really on my radar screen until he came back.”

Combs was one of the founding students at Oak Mountain Classical before going to McCallie in Chattanooga, Tenn., his ninth and 10th grade years. While Combs said he enjoyed his time there, he wanted to finish high school close to home.

Westminster tennis is an added bonus.

“I wanted to do whatever I can to get the school’s program going. They’ve got a good thing going,” Combs said.

Nix is thankful that Combs is interested in playing. Combs is one of three seniors in the state that will join a Top 25 recruiting class in the fall as he heads to Furman University.

“He is already beyond high school tennis. It really speaks to his character that not only is he willing to play for the school to start our program, but he has a mentor-type mentality toward it,” Nix said.

Combs wants to help train the younger players on the team, including No. 2 Richard Robey, and thinks anything is possible this year and in years to come at Westminster. Nix agrees.

“I don’t think we’ll be a one hit wonder because of Ryan,” Nix said. “I think we’re going to have a phenomenal first year because of Ryan.”