Lessley prepares for South State in tennis and baseball

Published 12:02am Friday, April 11, 2014

NATCHEZ — The Trinity Episcopal Day School tennis team has had to deal with bad weather that didn’t allow them to consistently start playing matches until three weeks ago, but senior Turner Lessley has more to deal with than just a late start to the season.

Lessley is spreading himself thin between tennis and baseball, and tennis coach Noreen Pyron said she notices the effects it has on his performance.

“It has sort of affected him in his tennis because he has baseball doubleheaders, and he gets a little tired,” Pyron said.

Lessley admits switching back and forth can get overwhelming at times.

“Last week, I had two baseball games and four tennis matches,” Lessley said.

Lessley decided to play on the baseball team this season after sitting out the past six years, and he said it’s been a learning experience.

“I’m trying to get back to where I’m at least decent,” Lessley said.

Though Lessley and the baseball team are fighting for a playoff spot with a doubleheader against Tallulah Academy tonight, Lessley still focuses his attention on being one of the tennis teams leaders and preparing for their trip to the South State tournament.

“I teach mostly (on the tennis courts),” Lessley said. “Like (teammate) Cole Mosby, he’s going to be a lot better than I was. But he drops his head (when he hits the ball), and I tell him to keep his head up.

“I help a lot with back hands because it’s my best technique.”

Trinity tennis won its district match 7-3 against Franklin Academy Thursday and Pyron said everyone is starting to refocus on getting better before South State which Trinity will host April 29.

“I told them we have a home stretch going into South State and I want to see a lot more intensity,” Pyron said. “I want to see them playing the ball, not just out there hitting it back and forth.”

Lessley said he’s looking forward to South State for more than just a chance to advance to the state tournament.

“Hopefully, I can land a tennis scholarship to (Copiah-Lincoln Community College),” he said. “They won’t get a chance to see me until the South State tournament because competition will be good then.”

Lessley said there is one technique he wants to have perfected before the big tournament.

“Juggling,” he said with a laugh. “I have to get better with playing two spring sports and south state coming up in both of them.”