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Tennis wraps up for 2005

When he was coaching tennis at Suffolk High School, Bill Peachy didn’t always look for the players who could knock down the net with a serve, spike the ball through the concrete, or land a lob just inside the white lines of the court.

He also looked for the players who showed up on time and stayed past the end if that was what it took. The players that listened to what the coaches had to say, and then put it into action. Not just the players that won, but those that were willing to prepare to win.

And it worked – Peachy’s teams brought home five consecutive state titles.

&uot;Suffolk made a name for itself, and I was very fortunate to be a part of it,&uot; Peachy said to the Suffolk Tennis Association dinner Saturday evening at the Nansemond River Golf Club. &uot;Most important is dedication to the game, more so than physical ability. I’ve seen a lot of kids come up through the ranks that didn’t have a great deal of ability. An athlete may not be the biggest or the strongest, but they had the dedication to get the basics down and be successful.&uot;

Those lessons went beyond the court, he said.

&uot;If you want to do it bad enough, and you’re willing to put the time into it,&uot; he said, &uot;you can be as good as you want to be.&uot;

At least one player could attest; about a year and a half ago, Diana Heriford came to longtime local tennis instructor Howard Mast and told him she’d like to play for the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy junior varsity team soon.

&uot;Tennis was always what I wanted to do,&uot; said the Lady Saint. From the summer of 2003, she practiced nearly every week at the Mast Complex on Main Street, and worked out privately as well.

&uot;I definitely improved on my serve,&uot; she said. In early August, she made the team, and got as high as fourth-ranked before illness ended her season the next month. But it was enough; Mast named her the organization’s Most Improved Player of the year.

&uot;I didn’t realize that there even was an award,&uot; she said. &uot;I think I worked hard over the summer, and I tried a lot.&uot;

For the fourth consecutive year, Bart Grover won the Tommy Morgan Trophy, named for the former Suffolk High superstar, which is given to the Boys 18U singles champion. Grover and Anirudh Shetty were recognized for making it to the finals of the state boys 18U doubles championships. Mason Cox, Hillary Greene, Leigh Ann Sexton, Justin Trousdell, Ryan Spruiell and Robbie Wharton got awards for STA instruction and volunteering.

The following won trophies for individual Suffolk championships over the past year:

Boys: Grover (16U champion)

Kunal Kapoor (second, 16U)

Bobby Pablo (third, 16U)

Wharton (14U champion)

Bryan Nuckles (second, 14U)

Aakash Shah (12U champion)

Ryan Humphrey (second, 12U)

Jim Humphrey (third, 12U)

Girls: Heriford (14U champion)

Amber Hendrix (second, 14U)

Jennifer Humphrey (12U champion)

Callee Rawls (second, 12U)

Kayse Furlo (10U champion)

Baylie Fannin (second, 10U)

Doubles: Heriford-Hendrix (14U champion)

Rawls-Humphrey (second, 14U)

jason.norman@suffolknewsherald.com