Cougars dominate Silliman Institute on the courts

Published 12:35 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Silliman Institute was outclassed on the tennis courts at Brookhill on Natchez Tuesday afternoon. Brookhaven Academy took eight out of nine courts in their varsity win and junior varsity won six out of eight courts. 

No. 2 girls singles player Taylor Douglas won her court 6-3, 6-4 for BA. In No. 1 Boys Doubles, Wilson Calcote and Pace John won 6-2, 6-1 for the Cougars. Emma and Lillie Gates won No. 1 Girls Doubles in a tiebreaker 6-1, 2-6 and 10-8 for BA. 

Girls Doubles partners Annaston Poole and Swayze Poole won their court 6-3, 6-2 for Brookhaven Academy. Levi Dale and Jacie Douglas won the mixed doubles court 7-6, 6-1 for BA. 

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Most impressively, BA’s doubles partners Cooper Strickland and Nathan Poole did not let their opponent win a single set in a 6-0, 6-0 win. Strickland transferred to BA from Parklane Academy and was a key part of their soccer team’s success this season. His swagger can be seen on the court alongside his partner Poole. 

This is the first season Poole has played tennis. He previously played baseball in the springtime but decided to try something new this year. 

“I didn’t want to be bored in the spring and tennis looked fun. It has been really fun,” Poole said. “I like practice and I like to play tennis. Cooper and I are best friends. We were friends before we played tennis. We have good chemistry and don’t get mad at each other, we just encourage each other.”

A sophomore, he and Strickland are playing really good tennis. The pair take an athletic approach to tennis with spins, leaps and sprints. At the net, the two have quick reflexes to put away shots where the opposing team can not get to them. 

Poole can be heard at times talking to himself during the match to compose his emotions and continue to play loose. He said taking a loose approach to the game helps because it is hard to play well when you get upset. Next year, he plans to return and continue playing tennis. 

After all of the varsity games were finished, a large portion of the Cougar team stayed behind to play more tennis. Poole was one of the players along with Strickland who stuck around to have fun as they waited on the JV games to wrap up. BA’s district tournament is getting closer. 

“I’m not really nervous,” Poole said. “I think we will advance to state. Outside of BA, I like to play tennis with Annaston and Swayze (Poole).”