Hiley Mazda Key Athlete of the Week: Lauderdale County’s Jillian Tanner

Hiley Mazda Key Athlete of the Week: Lauderdale County’s Jillian Tanner

ROGERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Jillian Tanner has been playing for the Lauderdale County tennis team since she was in seventh grade.

Last year she helped make history as the Tigers became the first public school to win a tennis state title. So this year for her senior year, Tanner wanted to make even more history. Last week, she won her match at the number 1 doubles spot to help the Tigers win back-to-back Class 1A/3A state titles. For that, Jillian Tanner is the Hiley Mazda Key Athlete of the Week!

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“It means a lot, back-to-back is something that I never thought that I’d be able to do, especially not even really one. So being able to bring two blue maps home to my school means so much to me on my senior year, too,” Tanner said.

Over the years, Tanner says she’s loved the bonds she’s been able to build with her teammates.

“They’re my best friends,” she said, “and you know, we all just we know how much we mean to each other and how much this team means to all of us.”

Especially with her doubles partner Molly Burchell, so there was full confidence they’d be able to step up and win that match at state.

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“They are one of the most incredible doubles teams that I’ve ever seen step on the court. If they go out and set their mind to something there’s no doubt that they could do it so they wanted it and they were ready to finish it off. They came back and won,” Lauderdale County head coach Haleigh Woodard said.

“It was so emotional because for me that was my last ever high school tennis match and being able to finish that with her meant a lot to me because she had been the best doubles partner that I could ever ask for. And she brought me another state championship,” Tanner added.

Tanner calls her teammates her sisters, but she’s been lucky enough to share these historic moments alongside her younger sister Lizzie, who won her singles and doubles matches at state.

“Neither one of us would be where we are without each other. So it’s like, even though we butt heads, you know, we still know that we need each other, and being able to play with her for the past few years since has meant a lot to me,” Tanner said of her sister Lizzie.

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Now as she hangs up her racquet and gets ready to attend Mississippi State, Tanner has left a legacy that won’t be forgotten at Lauderdale County.

“She’s created the mold that I really want my future players to follow. Just get out there, work hard, do what you’re supposed to do, and make sure that you put forth the effort and you stay committed and you can always reach that goal. To say that Jill has helped shape what we’ve become is not even strong enough saying, I mean she has been a part of this from the beginning and I believe that the legacy she leaves going to be something that people will talk about for years to come,” Woodard said.

We are always looking for standout student-athletes in the Tennessee Valley to feature! If you have a high-school-aged athlete that you would like to nominate for Hiley Mazda Key Athlete of the Week, you can email, or

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