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Peele named WDN Tennis Player of the Year

By By EUGENE L. TINKLEPAUGH, Staff Writer
Ben Peele has a serve that’s surgical. So it’s not a big stretch to hear the graduating senior say he’ll be pursuing a career as an agronomist.
He was Washington High School’s top tennis player this season finishing with a 16-3 record. When he goes to N.C. State in the fall, he’ll continue to play recreationally. His doubles partner this year — also his best friend, Nathan Worsley — will be living next door to Peele. “So we’ll probably be playing a lot,” Peele said.
This year Peele and Worsley went as individuals to the regionals. Peele lost his first match in a three-set match. He had a solid regular season individually and in doubles play. For his leadership as Pam Pack’s number one player, Peele was named the Daily News Tennis Player of the Year.
Last year Peele shared the award with then-senior Kevin Stancil.
One of the highlights of his senior season is a vengeful victory over J.H. Rose’s top tennis player.
Peele lost the first contest between the two, “but I was ready for revenge the next time,” he recalls.
Washington wound up beating Rose as a team, which Peele says, “is something we haven’t done in a long time.”
The stand-out Pack player says he started the season thinking he’d have it easy.
Five of the tennis team’s six starters are graduating seniors. Peele said the camaraderie of the team was unmatched.
That helped some, he said. Some times it didn’t help much.
This was Peele’s first year playing with Worsley in doubles play.
Peele first picked up a racquet when he was five or six, he says.
Peele’s mom, Dale Peele, coaches the Pam Pack team.
Being coached by his mother was “hard sometimes,” Peele acknowledged.
He recalled a couple dinner-table pep talks.
On top of Most Valuable Player honors, Peele was also named the Coastal Conference Player of the Year.
Peele and his classmates graduate Thursday.
This summer, he plans to work with his dad, an agronomist himself.
He’ll join many of his graduating class at N.C. State in the fall.