Lifelong friends enjoyed time as doubles partners in high schoolPublished 12:17am Monday, July 9, 2012
NATCHEZ — It was only natural that when Allie Boothe and Abbey Ashmore started their tennis careers that the lifelong friends would make great doubles partners.
“We already had that twin telepathy,” Ashmore said.
The two girls started their friendship at the age of 3, and once they reached their early teen years they decided to try tennis at Huntington School.
The combination of athletic ability and teamwork led the girls to an appearance in the state championship tournament as eighth graders at Huntington. The duo continued to team-up as doubles partners until Huntington School shut down before their junior seasons.
Both girls then made their way to Trinity Episcopal School, and this past season, as seniors, they repeated what the accomplished as eighth graders at Huntington. The girls advanced to the state championship after finishing second in South State to Brookhaven Academy.
“We got a lot better,” Ashmore said about the girls’ senior season. “We play really well together. Brookhaven is just so tough.”
Although the girls fell to Kirk Academy in the opening round of the state tournament, they said it was special to make the tournament in both their eighth-grade and senior seasons.
“We didn’t think we were going to win state,” Ashmore said. “But we were glad we got to go.”
The two girls said they shared a special relationship when they were on the court together, but it was the times they faced each other that made them better players.
“Playing against each other for practice is what made us better,” Boothe said.
The tennis court was not the only place the two girls could be seen together, however. They both were cheerleaders, played basketball and performed musically together.
“I play piano, and she sings,” Ashmore said. “We’ve been doing that since the third grade. We don’t do it much, but we do recitals and at church one year we had a big recital.”
The two seniors also served as leaders on the Trinity tennis team this season, and they were able to provide personal experiences to help out seventh-graders Allie Smith and Lucy Pyron during their run to the state tournament this season.
“We played against them and practiced,” Boothe said. “It helped because we had done it when we were their age.”
Ashmore said it was nice to see some younger Trinity players succeed, and she hopes they will continue to progress to be better than she and Boothe were.
“(They will) probably be better than us,” she said. “They put more into it. We had so many other activities that we couldn’t spend so much time on tennis.”
Boothe said she remembered how special the moment was when she and Ashmore made it to state at such a young age.
“The eighth grade year was special, because you are so excited that we won and got that far,” Boothe said.
Now that the two friends have graduated Trinity, they will naturally head to the same college, LSU, and room together this fall.
“We’ve been dreaming about going to LSU and rooming together our whole lives,” Ashmore said.
Both girls said they are looking forward to getting to Baton Rouge and really looking forward to LSU football season.
Until then they will work as lifeguards together this summer and think back about the highlights of their tennis careers and their time at Trinity and Huntington, Ashmore said.
“I will miss the family atmosphere and being close to everyone at Trinity,” Ashmore said.