Cole beats top players to make state

Published 12:01 am Sunday, May 27, 2012

NATCHEZ — Adams County Christian School’s Brody Cole played giant killer at the end of this year’s tennis season.

The eighth grader made his way to the South State Championship match by defeating the No. 1 players from both Simpson Academy and Silliman Academy. Cole fell in the championship match, but his performance in the tournament earned him a trip to this year’s MAIS State Tennis Tournament.

“It felt good,” he said. “I really wasn’t expecting to make it, but I was proud.”

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Cole said playing in the state tournament was a great experience in his young tennis career.

“I figured it would be big,” he said. “It was in Jackson, and there were a bunch of teams.”

Cole again received a tough draw, as he was matched up with the No. 1 seed from Oak Hill Academy. Despite dropping the first-round match 1-6, 0-6, Cole said he enjoyed the experience.

“If you lose one match, you’re out. But it was pretty fun,” Cole said.

Cole, 14, said the state tournament was a learning experience for him.

“I learned I have got to improve a lot if I plan on repeating and going back next year,” he said.

Cole’s quest to get better for next year has already started, and he and a few of his ACCS teammates practice daily at Duncan Park.

“I’m working on improving my volleys, backhand and serve,” he said. “My serve is (my strength) right now, and I’m working on getting it down and my speed.”

Cole said he feels his backhand is his weakness right now, and he wants to focus on that a lot this summer.

Cole said he started playing tennis his sixth-grade year, skipped his seventh-grade year and started again as an eighth grader this season. He said he has gotten much better since he started playing.

“(I’m) 100 percent (better),” Cole said. “I’ve gotten way better since then.”

Cole said he hopes to keep improving at that pace, because he has high expectations for next season.

“I want to try not to lose to anybody,” Cole said. “I want to make it back to state and win state.”

Cole said he plans to continue playing singles for the Rebels, because he is better playing by himself than with a partner.

“I’m not a very good doubles player,” he said. “I like playing by myself and relying on myself to make the play.”

Cole said that he plays every sport available to him at ACCS except soccer, but he does not have trouble juggling all of his sports.

“We can work the schedules out,” he said. “It only gets tough with tennis and baseball.”