E.A. Sports Today

Tournament notebook

An assortment of thoughts and scenes from the Calhoun County Tennis Tournament at Oxford Lake

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

Anytime you go to a Donoho tennis match there you will notice the support of some canine fans. I call them Donoho’s dogs. The cute pooches are named Duke, Millie, Harry, Walter and Cooper and belong to the Walkers, Weimers, Hudsons and Ballards. The dogs are well behaved and provide emotional support to the players and anxious parents.

RAIDERS BUILDING A PROGRAM: Pleasant Valley head coach Adam Goosby is building a program and the team has seen much improvement since the start of the season. The Raiders practice on the Jacksonville State courts and the area in Jacksonville is starting to see youth tennis pick up, so the future looks bright.

“We want to get kids out and get interested in the program,” Goosby said. “We have just found one kid that moved here and has played a lot of tennis, but did not even know we had a team.

“The kids we have now work hard and are dedicated and I am proud of the improvements we are making.”

GETTING A FEEL FOR IT: Faith Christian tennis coach Granger Surrett came to the 1A school from Cherokee County and knows what tournament play means for a young team.

“We have a lot of young players and they need to get the feel of tournament play,” Surrett said. “Getting used to sitting around and then having to play. Any experience we can get like that will help us. Our girls have done real well today. They are a little older than the boys and have a little more experience.”

GOLDEN EAGLES DON’T QUIT: Jacksonville head coach Phillip Noah was very pleased with the way his players battled all weekend. He had three reach the county finals — one a champion — and two teams reach the doubles finals.

“We never give up,” Noah said. “We train hard and work hard. I feel confident our kids are going to do well the rest of the season.”

KUDOS TO WALKER, SEARLE: The tournament would not be what it is without tournament director Dr. Jay Walker. He has everything lined up and keeps it moving in the right direction. This year, he brought along gas heaters, which came in real handy on a chilly Friday night.

Walker is assisted by his friend Joe Searle, who helps take off a lot of details that keeps 18 different tournaments happening at the same time.

“Dr. Walker volunteers his time and so does Searle and they really do a good job with it,” Oxford athletics director Larry Davidson said.

RED WILDER INVITATIONAL: The county tennis tournament used to be the Red Wilder Invitational until just recently. It was held every year at the Anniston Country Club, but not sanctioned by the County Principals Association until a few years ago, making it a recognized county championship. Then it changed to the current format run by the county school

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