HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS

Cox set to prove himself in individual tournament

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Adam Cox remembers the loss he suffered to Lebanon’s Michael Wright as a freshman in 2019.

Since, the now Southmont junior has been unbeatable in the Sagamore Conference. A perfect 12-0 mark in league play and one of the most consistent singles players in west central Indiana overall.

As a team Southmont had won back-to-back sectional titles for the first time in school history in 2019 and 2020 — and had hopes of bringing home the first regional title in school history — but a loss to Parke Heritage in the sectional final left Cox advancing to the individual portion of the IHSAA tournament.

“It really stinks, because my teammates are like family to me,” Cox said. “Them not being able to go on with me, it sucks. And that was one of our goals throughout the season, but we are all coming back next year so it gets us motivated.”

The disappointment had to quickly turn into motivation for Cox, who will play Sullivan’s No. 1 on Wednesday at Crawfordsville and with a win could possibly have to win one more match or automatically advance to the individual regional at Kokomo on Saturday, October 16.

Cox currently sits at 17-1 on the season after a 17-3 campaign last season — losing with his team to Fountain Central in the regional. A team win in the sectional this season could have potentially pitted Cox and the Mounties against Covington and No. 1 Trojans player Evan Norton in the regional final — who handed Cox his only loss this season.

“That was something I had been looking forward to, ever since I had lost to him at the WeBo Invite, I was really looking forward to that,” Cox said. “He’s (Norton) a great player and playing Evan is really fun, because it’s just good competition. And those are the matches that you remember the most.”

Norton and the Trojans defeated Terre Haute South on Tuesday to advance to the regional final against Northview.

While Cox’s record in 2021 is similar to his sophomore season successes, there’s still been improvement from year two to year three of varsity tennis.

“My mindset mostly, just not getting down and not getting mad,” he said. “I used to let a lot of little stuff bother me, which I learned to let go a lot.”

In six conference matches this season, the junior dropped just three total games.

With so much unknown entering the individual portion of the tournament, Cox is just happy to still be playing and at the opportunity to play good competition.

“I just want to put my name out there,” he said. “I’m blessed to be in this situation in general. I’m just looking forward to that. I just want to go as far as I can and keep winning.”

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