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Troup tennis making strides

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

As the Troup High tennis players got together for the start of the spring season, head coach Tammy Green’s goal was to help them develop an appreciation for a sport that’s come to mean a lot to her over the years.

Green and assistant coach Rusty Taylor led a team that saw its season cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve been so proud of these kids,” Green said. “Coach Taylor and I have really emphasized that I want them to fall in love

with tennis. I don’t want it to just be a spring thing for them. I want them to love it, and play as often as they can, and continue playing. It’s such a great life-long sport. I’ve been really proud of my kids, and really pleased with the way the program’s going.”

Green, an active player herself who was previously the president of the Chattahoochee Valley Tennis Association, has focused on making sure all of the players, boys and girls, feel like a part of the same team.

“The way I try to think the whole team think is, we’re one team,” Green said. “I treat it as one big team. That’s what we’re promoting.”

Unfortunately for Troup, and all of the spring-sports teams, the season ended in the middle of March.

Troup lost a hard-fought match with Central-Carroll on March 12 to wrap up a busy week.

The season was suspended the following day, and it never resumed.

Troup was at least able to play 10 of its 14 regular-season matches, and that included three matches the week the season was suspended.

There were 10 seniors on the team, including Katie Wingate, Suzuna Kimura, Zoie Cline, Olivia McInvale, Paytn Bailey, Gracie Thrower, Jackson Tucker, Samuel Johnson, Jaquavious Daniels and Venture Herndon.

Green said she’s proud of all of “the progress they’ve made.”

“Jackson Tucker comes to mind,” Green added. “He took lessons, he went out and played all summer long. It’s so great to see that motivation, and see them working on their own. I always tell them to keep playing. The initiative from them has been fantastic. It’s been a great group of kids. I hate to see them go.”

The team used to play its home matches at Troup High, but that’s no longer a possibility since the tennis courts were removed to make room for the new gym and indoor practice facility.

Troup now practices and plays its home matches at the Ann & Doc McCluskey Tennis Complex, and it shares the facility with LaGrange High’s team.

Green has enjoyed watching the players from the two schools interact.

“My tennis players, they’re meeting other tennis players on other teams,” Green said. “Now, they’ll call the LaGrange High players to get together and hit tennis balls with them on the weekend. That’s exactly what I wanted for them to do. I feel so good that they’re meeting other people.”