Clark sisters are back-to-back state champs
West Lincoln’s 10th grade twin sisters Katy and Kara Clark captured the Class 2A State Individuals Championship gold in girls’ doubles tennis for a second year in a row.
The MHSAA Tennis State Championships for Class 2A/4A/5A were held at Ridgeland Tennis Center on Monday through Wednesday.
The defending state champions went into the state individual tournament ranked as the No. 1 girls’ doubles team in Class 2A as the Clark sisters received a bye in the opening round in Monday’s contest.
On Tuesday, the Clark sisters had to wait through a five-hour rain delay before beginning their quest for a repeat. The West Lincoln sister duo crushed the Madison St. Joseph Lady Bruins No. 2 girls’ doubles team 6-1, 6-2 in the second round.
After another long wait for their next opponents, the Clark sisters managed to battle through their fatigue to play an 11:30 p.m. special Tuesday night match against East Webster in the semifinals. Katy and Kara Clark ended up cruising past East Webster 6-1, 6-0 to advance to the finals Wednesday morning.
In Wednesday’s championship contest, the West Lincoln sister duo battled the Madison St. Joe’s No. 1 girls’ double team of Genin Starkey and Eliza Strickland for the second year in a row.
The Clark sisters dominated St. Joe duo in straight sets winning 6-4, 6-2 to capture their second consecutive state title.
“They were the class of the field,” said Brookhill coach David Misner. “If the girls are mentally focused before they stepped on the court, no one is going to have a chance against them.”
Katy and Kara Clark are coached by West Lincoln’s football coach and new tennis coach Willie Brumfield. The girls are also under the tutelage of Brookhill Tennis Instructor David Misner. The twins are members at the Brookhill on Natchez, a swim and tennis club, where they continue to play and improve on their skills for next season.
“First of all, I am extremely proud of Kara and Katy,” said West Lincoln coach Willie Brumfield said. “I can’t tell you how many people at the state championship told me how impressed they were with the way the twins act and play.
“They are the epitome of the model student-athlete on and off the court,” continued Brumfield. “Not only are they great tennis players, they are great young ladies as well. They have class and sportsmanship wherever they are.”
“The girls had another perfect season going undefeated all year. They work hard year-round and deserve to be champions,” he said. “I enjoyed being their coach this year, and they are proof that great athletes can make any coach look good. I would like to thank their family for allowing the twins to play for me and West Lincoln. Thank you ladies for wrapping the tennis state championship in green and white. Awesome job.”
In a recap of the sisters’ success, the Clark girls were the 2013 state runner-up in Class 1A as eighth graders. In 2014, the girls captured West Lincoln’s first state championship gold in tennis. In 2015, the girls repeated as state champs in girls doubles.
The Clark sisters are looking to continue the winning tradition at West Lincoln as they plan to bring home two more state championship titles in their 11th- and 12th-grade years.