CHAPMANVILLE — Tennis in the Chapmanville area has experienced unprecedented success in recent years.
The high school team has enjoyed four state champions, four regional champions, three team conference titles, and posted the best record in school history on the boys and girls side.
But the Chapmanville Middle School boys and girls team achieved something this season never before done in Chapmanville tennis history.
A perfect record.
The boys and girls team both finished without a blemish, going 12-0 on the year after defeating Greenbrier East and Greenbrier West to close out the season at Coonskin Park.
CMS tennis head coach Chris Kidd said it was an incredible feat for his team and the program.
“I couldn’t be happier for these kids,” Kidd said. “They’ve really gone out and pushed themselves each and every day to get better, and they love the sport which is the main thing I wanted to accomplish when we started this team. It’s incredible to go undefeated. We’d come close a few times in the past with some of my first girls groups going 12-1 and 14-1, and my boys going 9-3 one season, but to do it is a nice feeling for everyone. I’m hoping this does a lot more for the program and gets more kids wanting to come out and compete in tennis. We have a good system in place here.”
The Tigers will be depleted going into next season, as nine of their 11 players on this year’s roster were eighth-graders.
Kidd said the transition isn’t unusual.
“We’ve done this before,” Kidd said. “Three years ago I lost 10 eighth-graders from a girls team that finished 14-1 and went on to produce our eventual state champions, regional champions and conference champions, and a boys team that went 11-4 and eventually helped post the best record in the high school’s history and win the first conference title in the high school’s history. We started fresh and ended up finishing another great three year run. In six years we’ve never had a losing season, and with whatever new kids we have next year that’s what we aim to do again.”
The records for the first three seasons and last three seasons are close record-wise for the CMS tennis program. The 2010-2012 boys teams posted a combined 23-13 mark, the 2013-2015 group finished 31-9, while the 2010-2012 girls team went 31-5, with three of those losses coming in year one, compared to the 2013-2015 girls team posting a 31-9 mark, with seven of their losses coming in year one.
Kidd said the dedication of these groups has been key in continuing to see the program build.
“I’ve said it before, but it’s still very true, I can only do so much coaching-wise. The responsibility does go on them for the most part in getting out and making each other better,” Kidd said. “These kids, whether it’s high school or middle school, really do try and work hard each year.”
Against Greenbrier East and West, the girls team saw top player Emily Gore finish an unprecedented undefeated season of her own, as she did not lose a set in singles or doubles all season long, winning 6-3 in singles, and 6-1 in her doubles match with Mackenzie Phipps.
No. 4 player Allison Walls took her singles match 6-0, while in other doubles action, Alexis Belcher and Walls fought to a 6-2 win, Amanda Hensley and Emily Carter took their match 6-0, Carley Toler and Carter also won their match 6-0 for the girls.
On the boys side, top seed Alec Stowers also completed an undefeated season in singles and doubles action, as he knocked off his opponent 6-0.
No. 2 seed Levi Adkins was a 6-2 winner, and No. 3 player Nick Carter was a 6-0 victor. In doubles, Stowers and Adkins polished off their undefeated doubles season with a 6-1 win, and Carter and his partner were 6-0 winners as well.
Kidd said he looks forward to this year’s team making the leap to the high school team next spring.
“I think they’ll do great once they reach high school,” Kidd said. “Some of our best competition will be internally because all of our girls who have state championships and regional championships will still be there, minus Haley Justice who graduated last year, and some of our boys who have been on our record setting boys team will still be there. It will be great watching them compete, and the hardest workers will be the ones who earn the spots.”
Kidd also said he will miss the group he coached this year.
“These kids were really special,” Kidd said. “It was hard seeing my first group go because they were there with me from the very beginning, but I was extremely fortunate to have the players and parents I’ve had all these years. Just being one coach for an entire team is very stressful and difficult, but my parents all six years have been incredibly helpful and understanding and willing to participate when I’ve asked and I owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.”
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1730, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).