Johnson Countys Tennis program had a stellar season this year. The young girls team began pulling out some big wins, while the boys team went on to make school history after senior Timmy Bellamy took the district championship.
Naturally, Coach Steve Nave was very proud when players from both groups earned distinctions for all-conference.
Ryan Whitener and Joey Porter received all-conference on the boys side and Dawn Lewis and Krista Warren represented the girls. Yet, the biggest honor came for Timmy Bellamy who received player of the year. Im very pleased, Coach Nave said. To finally win the district championship is something weve been trying to do for 11 years now. Its an individual thing but Timmy couldnt have done it without all the rest of the team helping him. I consider it a team win and not just an individual win in that aspect. Its something weve not been able to do since Ive been coaching and Im very proud of that.
Bellamy has been a strong player for the past few seasons, and with a talented senior lineup the boys team has been expected to pull off wins. However, having two all-conference players on the girls team has been an even stronger source of pride considering their relative youth as freshmen and sophomores. Now with two years behind them Coach Nave has begun to change his focus from teaching the basics of the game to learning how to win.
The girls have improved tremendously, Nave said. Dawn got all-conference last year, this is her second year getting it. Tori Israel could have gotten it as well, her and Krista are close, but Im not surprised at all that Dawn got it. She had four wins this year and thats pretty strong. Im going to start expecting them next year to get some more wins and keep improving. Its going to be the girls turn. Theyre going to have to keep working like they have and they should be fine. Dawn and Amber Brown, Tori and Krista are hard workers and I expect them to keep it up. I see good things for them.
With both teams doing well, the Longhorns took third overall in the conference, finishing up four and three on the season and trailing just behind Elizabethton and Unicoi County. As much as the girls are poised to lead Johnson Countys tennis team next year, the boys team faces a big challenge in replacing the strong senior lineup.
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