Children: Victoria, 21; Meredith, 18; Elena, 15; Emma, 15
Why do you think it is important for your children to play tennis, and why do you play tennis yourself?
Tennis is a great sport for children to play. My kids have made friends and social connections. They have learned to handle pressure and take responsibility for themselves and for their successes and failures. They have learned to deal with conflict and advocate for themselves and for a good solution to a tough situation. I think they have been very prepared to compete in other sports because of the mental toughness tennis requires.
I play tennis myself for the competitive outlet. As a female, I don’t find a lot of other women in my daily life who enjoy the rush of a good competition. It gives me free exercise (never feels like hard work) and the opportunity to connect and have a friendly competition with other women like me. I have traveled with the same adult ladies’ team for more than 20 years.
What are some of the notable tennis accomplishments for yourself and your children?
Tori was the MS junior player of the year in 2015. She was a two-time high school state individual champion and led her team to its first team championship in over 10 years during her senior year. She received a full scholarship to Arkansas State University to play tennis. She played two years there and decided to finish school at Mississippi College, where she also received a full scholarship and is a junior on their team.
Meredith was the MS junior player of the year in 2016. She was the high school individual champion four times and a team champion twice. She was ranked in the Top 10 nationally in the USTA and was a high school tennis All-American. She received a full scholarship to play at TCU, where she is currently a freshman on the team.
I was a high school state champion in mixed doubles. I played four years of DIII basketball and a year of tennis my junior year. We won our conference (Wheaton College, CCIW), and I won my flights at No. 5 singles and No. 1 doubles. My adult team has been to nationals twice. We were second in 1997 (4.5) and third in 2015 (4.5+ over 40). I have coached the Jackson Academy tennis team for 10 years, and our teams have won many championships. I was selected MS Coach of the Year by USTA Mississippi for 2017. My husband Stan and I have a silver ball for husband/wife, as well.
What is your most memorable tennis moment?
There are so many! One of my favorite memories is when my youngest, Emma, got to play on the Southern Cup team for Mississippi when she was 12. She was the weakest player on her team by a lot, but she scrapped and fought and gave it all she had. I think she won one or two of her singles matches, and I believe she was ranked just outside the Top 100. She is a joy to take to a tournament because she never stresses out and always believes she can win. She competes hard and plays tough, but at the end, she simply shakes hands and enjoys the day. At the closing ceremony, guess who the coaches gave the MVP to? Emma. What a surprise and something I will always remember.
What has tennis taught you?
People on the outside only see the successes. It’s easy to write the successes like it’s no big deal. That’s just not true. We aren’t that kind of athletes at our house. My kids have to work for what they get. People don’t understand that all success is preceded by a lot of