Southmont Tennis rolling after slow start
The Southmont boys’ tennis team had a rough start to their 2020 season, however that is all but behind them as the team currently sits at 9-6 and have won eight in a row. The Mounties are looking to defend their sectional title from a season ago and are starting to play their best tennis of the season at the right time.
“We’ve started to play a lot looser out there and that does come with winning,” coach Nathan Poynter said. “Both of our doubles teams are playing significantly better than at the start of the season. Our two and three singles have also come a long way and are starting to find their rhythm. I’m pretty proud of everyone and where we’re at right now.”
Sophomore Adam Cox leads the way for the Mounties at No. 1 singles and is starting to see his team build momentum after their slow start.
“I think that tough schedule to begin the year helped us a lot,” Cox said. “It really helped our younger guys who didn’t have a ton of varsity experience. Personally, I’ve started to be more aggressive out there on the court and cut down on my errors from last season. I think that’s been a big key to my game this year.”
As the wins have continued to pile up the Mounties know they still have work to do if they want to keep up their current win streak. But the winning streak has been a confidence booster for a team which features five sophomores.
“For young kids to mentally stay with it and keep their attention right where it needs to be even during this streak is very promising to see and very encouraging as a coach.”
Senior-led Mustangs headed toward fourth-straight sectional crown
The Fountain Central Mustangs boys’ tennis team came into this season looking to capture their fourth straight sectional title.
This year the Mustangs feature six seniors on the team led by Carson Eberly at No.1 Singles. Having such a senior led team proved to be beneficial during the offseason and the COVID-19 pandemic where the Mustangs were unable to get together.
“If there’s a group that can make those adjustments such as things you don’t plan for, this is the group that can do it,” longtime coach Chris Webb, who picked up his 200th career victory this season said. “We’ve battled through injuries this year as three of our six seniors have missed time. However, at the end of the day I know this team’s competitiveness and drive and they’ve persevered through a ton this year.”
The Mustangs through all the adversity find themselves at 10-2 on the year and looked poised to make another deep post-season run. Webb knows his team is always thinking about it in the back of their minds, but it’s something that not talked about a lot during the season.
“When these guys were freshmen and got a taste of that sectional title, they came together and said that that was something they want to do for all four years,” Webb said. “The ultimate goal each and every day is to just keep getting better. We know our sectional is filled with teams that could get us on any given day.”
As the season goes on, the time is slowly ticking down on the Mustangs seniors’ careers and the team knows that. With that Webb has seen all six of his seniors take an extra step forward this year.
“As a junior you really don’t think about your career coming to an end,” he said. “When that senior season rolls around, you know its your last year. There’s a different level of focus with this group this season and they want to do something special.”
Hutchison leading the way for CHS XC
Hunter Hutchison is taking full advantage of his long-awaited opportunity to lead the Crawfordsville boys’ cross country team. The senior had run behind both Drake Hayes and Eli Widmer last season as a junior and now is taking his turn to lead the way.
Last season Hutchison qualified for the regional meet and this season he helped guide the boys’ team to their fourth straight county championship on Thursday as he finished in first place with a time of 17:55 which marked his first individual win of the season.
“It was good to see him get that first win,” coach Megan Craig said. “I was really happy to see him celebrate that. With this boys’ program, you don’t have much of a chance to be a leader until you are a senior. He’s had to sit behind some really talented runners and its nice to see those four years of hard work and sitting in the back pay off. It is an excellent confidence booster as we head into conference. He needed to know that he can finish a race and tonight was a good motivator for him.”