Hornets all smiles going into Lincoln County Tournament

Published 8:17 pm Thursday, March 9, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Loyd Star’s mixed doubles pair Ady Locke and Knox Leggett were the first two players to get off the court at the Brookhaven City Courts with a win. They took their court 6-0,6-3 to help the Hornets nearly beat Franklin County 3-4 Thursday afternoon.

Loyd Star’s Ethan Smith won 6-2, 6-1 and Allison Etheridge and Camile Creel won 6-4, 4-6 and 11-9. Three of the matches went to tiebreakers with Franklin County winning two of them. 

Locke and Leggett played well in their victory. This is their first season playing together on the tennis courts and Leggett’s second year playing tennis. Locke said she started playing tennis when she was eight because her older sister played tennis. Leggett followed a similar allure to the game.

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“I decided to try something new. Tennis is too much fun. My mom played for a few years and played at Co-Lin,” Leggett said. “It runs in the family. I enjoy it. There are just some things you can’t do in any other sport.” 

Locke has played doubles and singles while Leggett has only played doubles. Over the course of the season so far they have figured out how to play well together. Locke said it has gotten easier as the season has moved along. 

Legget said his partner likes to play with a lot of topspin which requires them to be closer to the net in order to return shots. 

“With a slice it will bounce to the net. It took us a couple of matches to figure it out,” Leggett said. 

A soccer player in the off-season, Locke said the only thing which translates from the pitch to the court is cardio. Players are constantly moving and occasionally Leggett will yell out “switch.” Not every doubles team makes switches, they typically split the court in half and one stays in each half throughout the point. 

“If the ball goes one way and your partner doesn’t switch it leaves a big opening,” Locke said. 

Her right knee was in a brace throughout the match. She explained while barrel riding in a competition she hit the barrel and it injured her knee. Two years later, she still wears a brace while playing tennis and continues to ride horses competitively. 

They have big goals for the year, make it to state. The top two teams from their district will go to state, she said. They have practiced a lot throughout the summer and off-season getting ready for this year. 

Leggett said they are playing pretty well right now and they will have a chance to keep it up tomorrow. Lincoln County’s Tennis Tournament starts at 9 a.m. at Brookhaven Country Club Friday with teams from Enterprise, Loyd Star, Bogue Chitto and West Lincoln playing in a round robin format. 

“It is going to be competitive. We will play them at district too,” Leggett said. “There will be some good matches and a lot of good points.” 

Locke said going into each match she has a mantra she uses. 

“Hit it over the net and in the blue,” she said. “My mom yelled it to me during a match and it has stuck with me.”