Tinnell, Griffin set example at No. 1 singles

Facing region’s best, underclassmen lead Rebel tennis teams

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Tinnell, Griffin set example at No. 1 singles

Freshman Alana Tinnell plays in a match at Scott High School on May 8. Tinnell won the match and has been leading her team as the No. 1 singles player.

Freshman Alana Tinnell plays in a match at Scott High School on May 8. Tinnell won the match and has been leading her team as the No. 1 singles player.

Freshman Alana Tinnell plays in a match at Scott High School on May 8. Tinnell won the match and has been leading her team as the No. 1 singles player.

Freshman Alana Tinnell plays in a match at Scott High School on May 8. Tinnell won the match and has been leading her team as the No. 1 singles player.

Tea Boothe, Author

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Tennis is unique considering that the school’s best player will face the opposing team’s best player match after match in a one on one showdown.

This season, Boone’s No. 1 singles players, Alana Tinnell and Sam Griffin, push through the tension and rely on supporters to be the best they can be.

Home court or not, going against the opposing team’s head player every game can be intimidating.

Freshman Tinnell and sophomore Griffin are often younger than the opponents, making it difficult because the opponents are more experienced upperclassmen.

“Some of the other No. 1 singles players that I play are highly skilled,” Tinnell said. “They can hit the ball wherever they want, making me run all over the court.”

Boys coach Greg McQueary says that athletes who play No. 1 singles “must be mentally tough and disciplined enough on a consistent basis.”

“Most mistakes at No. 1 singles get exploited by the opponent,” McQueary said.

Despite being younger and playing the best opponents, Tinnell and Griffin have pushed to some success.

Tinnell has a record of 4-8 and Griffin has a record of 6-6.

The opposing team isn’t the only thing that can intimidate them while playing.

Mental challenges apart from who and how experienced the  opponent is can come up.

Being the No. 1 singles player comes with pressure to succeed, ignore negative comments, and push distractions aside.

“You have to leave all of this negativity behind you so that you can focus on what you came to do which is play tennis,” Tinnell said.

In addition to sharing similar challenges, Tinnell and Griffin are share similar goals.

Both players are aiming for to qualify for state.

“My biggest goal is to make it to state,” said Tinnell.

Griffin echoed this goal and said “I could also say that my biggest fear is just not making it there in my 4 years.”

Influences and peers help encourage them to make it there.

“The biggest influence, and positive figure for me is my coach and Adam Hicks,” Griffin said.

Some encouragement can come from the team generally.

“All of the girls on the team are very nice and supportive,” Tinnell said.

In that sense, each player encourages everybody to go try tennis and have fun.

“We are all really close, and it is so much fun,” Griffin said.