Catawba next challenge for Kluttz
By Bret Strelow
Two summers ago, Carson officials held an open house just days before classes started for the first time at the new school.
Students arrived and entered through the front doors. Cory Kluttz veered left and checked out the tennis courts.
“They were the first thing I went to when I came to the school,” he said.
Kluttz spent his final two years of high school at Carson, and he graduated in June.
Catawba College is the next stop for Kluttz, who plans to major in music education. He will also play tennis for the Indians.
Head coach Jeff Childress recently announced Kluttz, a two-time all-county selection, as one of three additional signees. The program inked four incoming freshmen in early June.
There were no seniors and only one junior on a team that went 12-11 last season. Catawba tied for fourth place in the SAC, so it’s unlikely Kluttz will make an immediate impact.
“We have such a strong team, he’s going to get a lot better practicing with our guys every day,” Childress said. “I don’t know if I realize or he realizes how much potential he still has. The first year will be a learning experience for both of us.”
Kluttz, who played at South Rowan as a freshman and sophomore, anchored the first boys tennis team in Carson history.
The Cougars made strides this past season, finishing sixth in a 10-team league that included four county schools. Carson pulled out a 5-4 win against East Rowan.
“We started from nothing, but we’ve got it up to a good starting point for Carson,” Kluttz said. “Not everybody gets to be the starting point, and it was neat to be part of the foundation.”
Carson teammate Jonathan Hough also made the all-county team, and Kluttz was the only county player to earn all-conference recognition from the NPC.
His best win was a 7-5, 6-2 decision against Salisbury’s Joe Goodman, who won the CCC singles tournament, reached the regional final and qualified for the state championships.
Kluttz doesn’t shy away from tough competition, and he said he looks forward to the challenge that awaits at Catawba.
“People that I see are better than me, I get dedicated and go at it until I can reach their level,” Kluttz said. “I push hard for everything I do.”
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