SHS clinic successful
On a cool crisp Saturday morning, you wouldn’t expect to see more than two dozen kids bouncing around on the tennis courts at Salisbury High, but that’s exactly what was happening.
The Salisbury High girls tennis team was holding its first annual free youth tennis clinic.
The Salisbury girls tennis program has been one of the state’s best since before the calendar turned over on a new century, and it figures to be in the hunt for a sixth consecutive state title this fall.
Senior Madeline Hoskins organized the clinic.
“This was something the girls wanted to do and Madeline grabbed hold of the idea and got things going,” SHS coach Scott Maddox said. “But it was definitely a team effort. It took all the girls to make it the hit it was.”
Sophomore Kayla Honeycutt, who worked with the participants on backhands, said. “This clinic was a great way for the team to give back to the community and teach them about something we love to do.”
The clinic consisted of drills that focused on the basics— everything from proper racquet grip to overhead serves was covered, and based on comments from the parents of the participants it was a great opportunity to introduce kids to a sport many had not played previously.
“I’m proud of these girls as I can be,” Maddox said “I told the girls it means more to me to see you out here doing this than to win against Mt Airy, Catholic or anyone else. Winning a match is a fleeting achievement, but an event like this gives you the chance to make a lasting impact on the life of someone in a way a match never could.”
Senior Alexandra Drye who worked with some of the more experienced players on ground strokes, came away with that warm and fuzzy feeling you can only get by unselfishly giving of yourself.
“It made my day when I saw the kids smiling and having fun, especially after learning something new or hitting a great shot,” she said.
Tennis wasn’t the only thing celebrated.
Clinic participant Skyy Streater was enjoying her seventh birthday, and all the instructors and participants serenaded her with a robust rendition of “Happy Birthday.”
SHS sophomore Grace Steinman said it was really a sweet moment for her “when the little girl’s mom wanted her to have a picture made with all her coaches.”
Instructors and team members who participated were Ruth Clement, Madison Day, Drye, Anna Flynn, Honeycutt, Hoskins, Kathryn Rusher, and Steinman.
All the girls realized just how good a job they’d done when at the completion of the clinic many of the kids wanted to stay around and continue playing.
“I would have to say the girls did a superb job when over a two-hour period no one asked to leave and many wanted to stay and practice after it was over.” Maddox said with a chuckle. “I feel truly blessed to be associated with such a fine group of girls. Every one of these girls is as genuine as they come. Everyone out here wanted to be here, there was no asking twice, and they were all over it from the beginning. Not only are they outstanding tennis players, but more importantly, they are outstanding young people.”
Hoskins was thrilled with the turnout and sees this becoming bigger in the future.
“I’m a senior, but hopefully this will continue next year,” she said. “This can become part of the great tradition of Salisbury tennis.”
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