The Dart: Barcelona tennis player teaches ACCS alumnus a few lessons

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 21, 2019


NATCHEZ — The temperature dropped suddenly from approximately 60 degrees to the mid-50s with strong winds Saturday afternoon, but that didn’t stop Mireia Jordan Mancos — a first-time visitor to Natchez from Barcelona, Spain — from showing off her mad tennis skills to her boyfriend.

When The Dart landed in Duncan Park Saturday, Mancos was teaching a former Adams County Christian School football player, Cristofer Thompson, what a real athlete looks like, he said.

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“I played football in high school too, but not like she plays tennis,” Thompson said. “Barcelona is where all of the pro tennis players are, like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer — she hangs out with all of these people. That’s crazy to me.”

Mancos said she started playing tennis in Barcelona when she was 10 years old.

So far, Mancos said Mississippi is the only American state she has seen, but it is still very different from Barcelona.

“It’s so different here,” she said. “I’m used to being downtown Barcelona with a lot of people on the street. Here, you need a car for everything. There’s no train and no bus. In Barcelona, you can walk everywhere.”

Thompson and Mancos both attend Jones Community College in Ellisville on athletic scholarships Thompson for football and Mancos for tennis.

Thompson, originally from Costa Rica, lived in Natchez for four years before he graduated from ACCS and started school at Jones last year, he said.

There, he met Mancos on the tennis court and was immediately impressed.

“I was out on the field at football practice and I saw her over at the tennis court at Jones,” Thompson said. “I said, ‘I’m going to have to talk to this girl. … I didn’t have as much respect for tennis players until she smoked me, 6-0 and 6-0.’”

After six months of dating and chatting with Mancos’ family on Skype, Thompson said he’d decided to bring her home to Natchez over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.