Helena tennis teams complete successful seasons

Published 6:10 pm Friday, May 8, 2015

The Helena High School boys and girls tennis teams both qualified for the state tournament in Mobile. (Contributed)

The Helena High School boys and girls tennis teams both qualified for the state tournament in Mobile. (Contributed)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–The Helena boys and girls tennis teams recently completed their seasons, and both teams recorded successful finishes in their first year being programs.

The boys team ended up winning their section while the girls team were section runner-ups. Because each team finished strong in their section, both qualified for the state tournament that was held in Mobile in late April.

The boys team finished in ninth place at the state tournament and the girls finished in 10th place.

Helena girls head coach Stephanie White was in her first year coaching the team, and she was pleased with how the girls finished and competed all year.

“I really am proud of them for really all of their performances,” said White. “They’ve come a really long way over the season. My goal for them when we went to state was for everybody to at least win their first round match, and everybody did that in either singles or doubles, so that was our goal for this year.”

At the state tournament on the girls’ side, all three doubles teams won their first round matches, the number-one singles court won both her first and second round match and the number-one singles court won her first round match.

The starting girls team consisted of Sarah Beth Dolinger, Hallie Harper, Serena May, Katie Watkins, Clara Atchley and Eshaun Wray who played both singles and doubles.

On the boys side, the team had no seniors, and at the state tournament the number-two singles court won the first round match, the number three and five singles court won both their first and second round matches and the number two and three doubles courts won their first round matches.

The starting boys team consisted of Alex Sanchez, Zach Cole, Philip Parker, Austin Findlay, Michael Ingram, Parker Cunningham, Luke Rima and Landon Genry who either played singles, doubles or both.

The teams practiced during the year at Joe Tucker Park and White was grateful for Jason Powers and Helena Parks and Recreation.

“Jason Powers at Helena Parks and Recreation was awesome,” said White. “He pretty much gave us carte blanche when we wanted to use the courts, what days, what times and he had a sign made and had it hanging on the courts for us.”

The weather was also a tough thing to contend with all year as the courts became extremely wet for most of the spring due to the large amounts of rain and that was another thing White noted both teams had to deal with.

The teams held their end of the year banquet on Sunday, May 3, and the following players received awards: The Most Improved Player awards went to Hallie Harper and Parker Cunningham and the Highest GPA awards went to Sarah Beth Dolinger and Landon Genry.