Boys Tennis Triumphs Over Sparkman

Junior Dylan Coleman returns the ball to his opponent across the court.

Tiffany Wu, Contributor

On February 25, 2019, the Bob Jones Boys Tennis team played against Sparkman High at the Bob Jones courts right after school. The sixteen members of our tennis team dominated the court, winning 7 to 2 against our Madison County rivals.

Dylan Coleman, a junior at Bob Jones High School, said, “This is my first year on the tennis team, so this match against Sparkman was my first singles match. I love being able to travel across Alabama and play against other teams, and I really love the competition more than anything else.” Just like many of the other players, Dylan was inspired to pursue tennis as an extracurricular sport. “My father is a tennis player, and back in elementary school I would play a lot, but not competitively,” he mentioned. It wasn’t until this last year that he got back to playing tennis, and joined the tennis team to refine his techniques.

Due to the rainstorms over the past few weeks, the tennis team has only been able to play two matches this season so far. While it is still early in the spring season, the boys plan on training hard to make it to the state level matches, where they will be able to compete with the best teams from across the region.

The tennis coach for the Bob Jones team is social studies teacher Coach Bryant, who has been instructing this team for seven years. He informed that “we’ve won both of our matches and finished in the semi-finals in our tournament, so I’m pretty happy.” Coach Bryant noted that his favorite part about teaching the boys tennis team is getting to know each of the players. “We spend a lot of time on the court together, and I love to see them improve, which is always my biggest goal. Even if we’re not able to reach state, I see improvement from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, and that’s really all I ask for. I’ve always thought sports was sort of a metaphor for life; tennis is a great sport for that because there’s a lot of tough things you have to go through when you’re out having to figure it out for yourself.”

This year is special for the team because, Coach Bryant mentioned, “we’ve got a lot of good younger players,” including a middle schooler who contributes in the line up. He adds that the younger players have “added some energy to our team. We’ve been together a long time but having these new, excited players adds a fresh look, so that’s sort of neat.”

Currently, the boys team has eleven high schoolers from freshman to seniors, as well as five motivated middle schoolers. Often the junior varsity team members spend most of their time on perfecting techniques, while the experienced varsity team members compete in the matches.

Senior Corey Tolbert stated, “we played fairly well against Sparkman. They had a really good number one player, and that’s what carried them to win those two matches, singles one and doubles one. But, across the board the rest of the way, we just had them beat.” Corey had been on the team since his eighth grade year, and made the varsity team his freshman year of high school. He included, “I think my favorite part is being able to play matches with the group of guys. It’s not only the competition, which obviously feels good when we win, but also the comradery between the guys as we build the team for one common goal.”

The boys tennis team has thirteen more matches planned, all the way until April. If you want to watch one of their matches and support the team, their next tournament at the Bob Jones courts is on March 27, 2019. While Bob Jones High School may be an academically strong school, the students are also equally motivated in athletics and various extracurricular activities, including tennis.