Cobras advance to state tennis tournament

Published 4:00 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

WESSON  — Five Cobra tennis players or pairs punched their tickets to the 3A MHSAA State Championship in Vicksburg Friday afternoon. Coleman Bonds, Mary Gwyn Hynum and Laney Kate Earls, Connor Brister and Ben McKenzie, Macey Loy and Brendon Duguid and Allison Hamilton advanced to the semi-finals of their district tournament held at Co-Lin. 

Franklin County, Raleigh and Magee were the other schools playing in the district tournament. Bonds won a district championship in boys singles, Loy won the district championship in girls singles and Brister and McKenzie won a district title in boys doubles. 

Earls and Hynum were excited to punch their ticket to the state championship. It took a tiebreaker to determine if they would advance to state. After losing the first set 4-6, they won the second set 6-1 and the tiebreaker 10-6. 

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“It feels really good. It is our first season on varsity. It was nerve wracking, very nerve wracking,” Earls said. “We have come a long way. We started out rocky and it was stressful. It is our first district tournament to play in.” 

Despite the nerves and stress, the sophomores and high school tennis rookies are moving on to the individual state tournament. Hynum said they have found success this season by being good communicators. 

They have been friends since they were in kindergarten and played a lot of sports together. Tennis is the most recent sport they have started to play. She said they have always known how to communicate well together. 

Wesson added a volleyball team two years ago and they joined it. Hynum and Earls play softball in addition to tennis during the spring. They have a softball game Friday night after the district tournament. Earls said they go to practice for both and play for whichever sport they can. 

The individual state tournament will be the first time they have played at state. Hynum said tournaments are different from the regular matches during the season. 

“There are different people and they play differently than you,” Hynum said. “You have to be ready for anything. State will be stressful but we are prepared.”