Tennis program soars into Chocowinity

Published 8:28 pm Friday, June 30, 2023

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For The Washington Daily News

Southside High School will have a girls tennis team for the first time in school history. The school board approved the request for the team at the last meeting. This means they will play in the upcoming fall season.

 The process began with athletic director Andrea Quinerly wanting to find a use for the courts at Southside. “The courts were built in the early 2000s when the school was built, but they have never been used,” Quinerly said. “We thought about making an indoor facility but we decided to re-do the courts and get a team together”

He went to principal Justin Holt with the proposal, who then brought it to the board. Quinerly has been anticipating approval from the board and has begun making the necessary preparations for the team.

He started by looking to see who would be interested in playing. “We have had some interest meetings and we have about 16 girls interested in playing,” Quinerly said. “I have never seen any of these girls play so it will be a fun and adventurous season.”

Meredith Dixon and Elizabeth Jones will be the coaches for the team. Dixon is the career development coordinator at Southside and Jones is a teacher at Chocowinity Primary School. Quinerly said they are lucky and fortunate to have Dixon and Jones lead the team for their first season.

They will have 12 matches on the schedule; six home and six away. They will play their home matches at Washington High School instead of Southside. “We only have two courts here at Southside and it is standard to have four,” Quinerly said. “Our practices will be on our courts but our home matches will be played at Washington High.”

They will play multiple conference matches against teams with a tennis program such as Lejeune, Jones, and East Carteret. They will also play Washington and Riverside among other non-conference opponents. This is a standard schedule as most seasons last between 10-16 matches.

Quinerly is excited and hopeful for the future of the tennis program. “I want to do my best as athletic director to give kids the opportunity to play. If they want a sport, I am going to do everything I can to make sure they can participate and have fun.”