DECATUR, Miss. (WTOK) For Newton County’s Lauren Addy, her tennis journey began in sixth grade when she tried out for the team with some of her friends.
“I was the only one out of my friends to stay and actually stick with it," Addy said. "I ended up loving it.”
Addy shared her parents wanted her to pursue softball, but certain characteristics of tennis drew her to continue pursuing the sport.
“I love the competition. I love to win. I’m very competitive," Addy said. "I guess just the fact it comes natural to me makes it fun to win and stuff.”
Head tennis coach Chad Bond said when he first began coaching Addy in sixth grade he knew she had the potential to be spectacular.
“She’s one of those rare kids that come through every now and then that the game just comes to them," Bond said. "They just understand it at a level most people can’t.”
Newton County has grown to be a powerhouse in MHSAA 4A for tennis, competing every year in the team state finals since 2014. They won the state title in 2017 and were runner ups in 2019.
As a sophomore, Addy made it to the semifinals in girl’s double and as a junior last season, she went to a third-set tie breaker in the girl’s singles finals after not playing singles all season.
“She’s worked really hard. She has done everything we’ve asked her to do and has turned into the player I’ve always thought she could be," Bond said. "She's been a big part of our team and the success we’ve had the last three years for sure.”
While Addy will be graduating from Newton County, she won’t be heading too far. She plans to attend East Central Community College which is only a short drive up the road.
Addy said the support of her coaches and teammates has helped her get past knowing she likely played her final high school match.
“I love tennis but I think what really makes it special is the people there and it’s a family for sure," Addy explained. "To see how dedicated the coaches are to making the season the best it can be it’s really inspiring.”
Coach Bond shared it's always difficult when seniors from the team graduate. With Addy being the only senior on this years team and having coached her for seven years, he shared how it will be especially hard to see her go.
“Tennis is just going to be one small chapter in her life. She’s going to go on to do great, amazing things in the world," Bond said. "I’m certainly going to miss having her on the team...on and off the court that’s for sure.”