Troup graduate earns scholarship
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
He’s been a staple of the Troup High tennis team for four years, and his good work hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Atticus Tucker, one of 10 seniors on the Troup tennis team last season, is one of two recipients of a scholarship named in honor of Joe Cornett, a local tennis enthusiast who died in 2012.
A tournament in Cornett’s honor is held each year at the Ann & Doc McCluskey Tennis Complex, and two local tennis players receive a scholarship in his name.
This year’s tournament was held last weekend, and Tucker received his scholarship on Sunday, with his family members on hand to celebrate the moment with him.
Tucker, who will be a student at Georgia Tech this fall, has practiced and played his home matches at the McCluskey Tennis Complex the past two seasons, and he said “it means a lot” to be recognized by the local tennis community.
“It’s something I love to do,” Tucker said. “You put in all this work into something you love, and to be treated like this is amazing. They’re an amazing group of people.”
Tucker was a four-year member of the Troup lineupe, and he was named the team MVP in 2017 and 2019.
Tucker’s senior season was going well this spring when everything was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Troup was at least able to play 10 of its 14 matches before the season was canceled.
“I’m disappointed, and things could have been different, but this is the reality,” Tucker said. “I wish we’d gotten to finish it, but I’m happy with how it went.”
Tammy Green, Troup’s head coach, introduced Tucker on Sunday, and she called him “a fantastic leader for your teammates. You’re a great example for sportsmanship, and self-initiative. You take lessons, you do a lot of stuff on your own.”
Tucker, Green added, has “been a wonderful leader, and a wonderful tennis player.”
Tucker has been pleased to see how the Troup tennis program has gone, both in number of players on the team, and in the success enjoyed on the court.
“It’s been awesome to see it grow the last three or four years,” Tucker said. “It’s been great to see people picking up a racket and going out there.”
Tucker was joined on the Troup tennis team by fellow seniors Katie Wingate, Suzana Kimura, Zoie Cline, Olivia McInvale, Paytn Bailey, Gracie Thrower, Samuel Johnson, Jaquavious Daniels and Venture Herndon.
“It’s been a great group of kids,” Green said. “I hate to see them go.”
Many of those seniors will be college students this fall, including Tucker, who will attend Georgia Tech, and he’ll carry his tennis racket with him to Atlanta.
“I’ll try to play on the club team this spring,” Tucker said. “It’ll be good to meet new people, and continue what I love.”