Southwestern Tennis off to great start

May 3—Southwestern High School Tennis is having outstanding seasons for both the girls and boys teams. The girls team record is 13-4 with Terae Handlos leading the way with a 14-2 record in singles matches. Brooklyn Wolke and Alexis Freeman are the top doubles players on the team with a match record of 9-3. Terae Handlos and Alexis Freeman are both seniors that have led the Warriors to a top 5 ranking in the 12th Region. Aubrey McDaniel, Kaitlyn Williams, Sarah McBride, Gracie Honeycutt, Aaliyah Lawler, Kelbie Trautman have been mainstays in the varsity lineups. ZeZe Coffey, Sally Phillips, Diya Patel, Yu Imada and Terri McGrath have also been big contributors in the girls strong season record to start the year.

The boys team has a record of 11-5 with Jackson Flynn starting his junior season with a 12-1 record in singles matches. Andrew Wolke and Lucas Hill are also off to a hot start with a record of 10-4 in doubles play. The boys team has also earned a top 5 ranking in the 12th Region based on their competitive showing in every match they have played. Chris Brown, Jackson Wright, Aaron Doan, Chandler Wolke, Cohl Pierce, Walker Stevenson and Aiden Coulter have all played in the team's top rotation during the year. Jonathan Goleman, Ohm Patel, Paxton Trautman, Gavin Baker, Griffin Epperson, Ryder Branscum, Caiden Gensel, Oliver Frey, Braxton Boyd, Ethan Hatter and Sam Yancy have provided depth that few other teams in the state keep up with.

Overall 35 different players have taken the court for the Warriors boys and girls tennis teams this year. Head Coach Toby Durham and Assistant Coach Tamera Wright credit both the current and former student athletes that have played tennis for Southwestern for creating a team culture that is second to none. Leaders like former players Josh Carey, Angela Wilson, Celina Martinez and Quinn McGuire and many others helped pave the way for the success being seen in the program now. They were outstanding representatives on and off the court and still come back to support the team when they can. Most every player now plays another sport or is highly involved in other extra- curricular activities. They are all encouraged to do other things as well as compete in tennis for the school.

The Lake Cumberland Tennis Association has also been a big part of promoting and supporting local tennis in the area. They help provide opportunities for players to grow and provide equipment and resources on a frequent basis. All four local high school teams have worked together to best prepare their players to play their best by creating a community of support for each other. The school's administration has been very supportive of the program as well as the Pulaski County School District. They are looking at ways to upgrade the facilities to keep up with the growth of the program.

The Warriors had a strong showing in the postseason a year ago and are looking to duplicate and even grow on that past success. Jackson Flynn qualified for and played at the state tournament last year. He became the first Warrior to do that since 2006. He looks to make it back this year and also have some of his teammates join him this time around. The 12th Region singles and doubles tournaments begin May 13th in Danville. The Team Tennis format has also been reinstated by the KHSAA this year as a new championship division. Region play for the Team Tennis division begins on May 7th.