Like most sports, the state mandated social distancing has wreaked havoc on the Winona Christian tennis program.
WCS tennis coach Dr. Finnis Beauchamp said he was looking forward to the upcoming season.
In particular, Beauchamp thought his mixed doubles team of Bella Roberts and Logan Graham had a shot at a state championship. The two finished second in the Class AA North State tennis tournament last year, eventually losing to Oak Hill in the North Half finals last season. Roberts and Graham beat Glenbrook in the first round of the Class AA tournament before losing in the finals to Oak Hill.
“I was looking forward to the season, especially for Logan Graham and Bella Roberts,” Beauchamp said. “I thought they had a chance to be really strong this year. They lost in the finals last year in the state tournament and we were trying to go capture that title this year. It’s a shame for them. They are a really good team.”
Beauchamp, who also does private lessons in Winona and Grenada, has encouraged his players to keep hitting the ball.
“Any time I see a student picking up their packet, I tell them to keep on hitting,” Beauchamp said. “I tell them if they get bored, go outside and hit the ball against the ball. They can find something to do. But that’s about all that you can do when you are at home and courts are locked up.”
Beauchamp said he thought his team had a chance at being very solid this season.
“We had a lot of rain but we had been able to practice in the gym,” Beauchamp said. “We have a really strong group of ninth grade girls that’s going to be really good. I was looking forward to them getting to play this year and getting better. I had peeled off a few athletes for the boys side. I think we were going to have a good solid team.”
Beauchamp said the boys he was counting on was John Carter Walker, Reese Cooper and Deuce Mooneyham.
On the girls side, Allie Rawls was back at No. 1 singles where she was “a backboard, everything comes back.” At No. 2 girls singles was Olivia Brooks. At No. 1 girls doubles was Rana Page Davis and Hope Farmer. At No. 2 girls doubles was Piper Davis and Swayze Marquette.
Beauchamp said because the spring season is lost, he’s looking at options to do more this summer.
“I really plan on doing something this summer through the USTA, some sort of league,” Beauchamp said. “I might get together with Eupora and try to get something going. I’m trying to salvage something for the kids. I teach and have plenty of time to do that this summer. And now, since we are out of school, I’ve got a little more time to get it organized.”