KOKOMO — Playing at the No. 1 singles spot, Adam Cox knows he’s going to get every team’s top player, and that has made the season special for the Southmont junior.
Cox holds an 18-1 season record and was named sectional champion Saturday at Crawfordsville. He’s now ready to compete Saturday in the regional semi-final at Kokomo — a challenge he is more than ready for.
“I’m just really thankful and blessed to be able to be where I’m at,” Cox said. “I’ve never been this far into the season by myself, so just taking it all in and trying to have fun is the most important thing.
“I want to win obviously, but I know the kind of competition I’m going up against, so preparing myself in case I do end up losing has helped me a lot,” he said.
Playing at the top spot means wanting it more than your opponent.
“It’s really a mindset that I’ve developed because I know that I’m going to get the opposing team’s best player,” he said.
Cox will face Rossville’s Evan Lawson who holds a 14-4 season record. Cox and Lawson will take the court at 10 a.m., with the winner moving on to the regional final at 2 p.m. Tennis has always been a big part of his life, and competing at the regional is another goal Cox can check off of his list.
“It’s just awesome that I’m able to accomplish something this big,” he said. “It means a ton to me and my family.”
Not only is his family cheering for him, his teammates will be behind him as he looks for a berth in the semi-state.
“It’s nice to see everyone get behind him and being so involved in his preparation,” Southmont coach Nathan Poynter said. “I think that helps give him a little different mindset heading in, and overall helps build the camaraderie amongst the entire team, and they’re excited to go watch him play. Not only just for his teammates, but I think having this kind of success is good for the entire school. They get to watch one of their peers and stuff like this builds great morale for everyone.”
Cox considers his teammates as his best friends.
“This week instead of it being very ‘business like,’ we’ve just been out here having fun,” Cox said.
Poynter knows Cox will face tough competition, different styles of play and he will be challenged in more ways than one, but that’s not keeping Poynter and Cox from rewarding experience.
“This whole experience will be good for him both mentally and physically,” Poynter said.
Even though the regional will be a new adventure for Cox, both he and Poynter are sticking to the phrase “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”
“The biggest thing heading into Saturday for him is to stay relaxed,” Poynter said. “He’s had the guys hit different types of shots at him at practice and he’s been doing his typical routine of hitting many serves and volleys. There’s some things about the mental side of the game that we’re trying to work on, but overall we’re sticking with what got him to where he is today.”
After helping the Mounties claim sectional titles the last two seasons, and now an individual sectional title this season, Cox hopes to give Southmont its first-ever regional champion.
“That would mean the world to me,” Cox said. “It’d be really cool just to put my name out there and I’d feel pretty blessed.”
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