Tennis Tigers bank on experience; Lady Tigers rebuild top of the lineup

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The move up to Class 4A and away from private schools such as Bayside Academy and Houston Academy is one reason why T.R. Miller tennis coach Paul Smith is excited about this season.
Instead of having to go through those schools that usually contend for the state championship in the Class 1A-3A division, T.R. Miller has been assigned to an all-public school sectional that also includes Jackson, Opp and Andalusia.
The new postseason alignment plus the fact the Tigers return virtually their entire lineup from a year ago could be the formula T.R. Miller needs to grab one of the top two sectional spots and a state tournament berth.
Senior Stephen Neal handled the number one spot most of last season and is expected to fill that position again this year. Senior Karl Kast and junior Marshall Bracken are not far behind and should slide into the number two and three positions.
Sophomore Roy Brown, who did not play last year, could make a quick impact.
Junior Drew Lambert saw some time in the top six last year and should hold down a top six slot headed into the season.
There should be a mad scramble for the sixth and final lineup spot between juniors Brian Oliver, Todd Robinson, Chase Crosby, sophomore Derek McNamara, and freshmen Nick Moore, Brandon Nelson and Allen Rigby.
While the Tigers' lineup will probably not have many changes in it from a year ago, the Lady Tigers' lineup will undergo some huge changes after the departure of last year's top two players, Catherine Stokes and Grace Miller.
That means last year's number three, Kara Smith, is expected to jump up to number one.
Senior Michelle Lewis is expected to vault to the number two slot.
The number three through five slots will probably be filled by junior Nikki Chambers and seniors Reonte Powell and Rachel Quick.
That leaves junior Magan Oliver and freshmen Catherine Reeves, Kayla Grey, Andrea Alvarado and Jamie Li to battle it out for the sixth and final position.

Email newsletter signup