The Wayne County High School tennis team is on the home-stretch of
another successful season, as they prepare to go into regional
competition. The boys' team is undefeated with an impressive 9-0 record.
The girls' team is in a rebuilding year as most of the roster comes
from first-year players who are in the eighth and ninth grade. They
have experienced some individual winning matches during the season,
but are still developing skills.
Both girls and boys advance to regional competition which begins
Friday, May 2 at 9 a.m. on the Berea College Campus. If the Cardinals
advance, they will play in the second round on Saturday, May 3. The
finals will be held on Monday, May 5.
The Cardinal boys have beaten both district opponents and the top
teams in the 12th region, so they have the opportunity to possibly
bring home the regional tennis title. Their most formidable opponents
at the end of the season were probably against Casey County in a home
meet where the boys won 8-1. That impressive win was duplicated on
the road at another tough competition at Pulaski County when the
Cardinals once again won 8-1. In the final regular season meet with
Berea, the boys won at home 6-3.
"We beat Casey County the worst we ever had 8-1," said tennis head
coach Don Neal. "They only got one match, which was quite an
accomplishment for our team. Last year we beat them, but it was a lot
Going into the region, Corbin Kirksey is the second rated player in
the region. Juniors Carson Staples, Matthew Gregory and Clayton
Cooper have done an excellent job for the boys this season. Junior
Kinley Weaver and senior Katie McFarland are looked upon as stand
outs for the girl players.
Coach Neal said when they played McCreary County during the season,
two of the top players—Corbin Kirksey and Matthew Gregory—were not
there, but he was very proud of Mason Coffey because he stepped up
and filled the void. "I told him he was the man of the hour" at that
The teams practice a lot after school during the season, but some of
the players continue on in leagues over the summer. Neal said many of
his players are very conscientious about the game. "It's good to see
kids so enthusiastic about something."
The Wayne County tennis program has been in the developing stages
for the past several years, so it is nice to see the seeds that have
been planted beginning to grow.
The boys were undefeated in the region last year.
"We're a winning program," said Coach Neal. "We're laid back and we
have fun, but we win."
Their past record includes a girl winning the regional singles and
the boys team winning region in doubles last year.
This year they are hoping the boys team will go all the way to state
which is held in Lexington.
"The one honor that has evaded us is the team trophy," where the
girls and boys team scores are counted together, explained Neal. He
is optimistic that next year could be the year for picking up that
The 32-member team is benefiting from their involvement with tennis,
which is considered a lifetime sport that can be played individually.
Neal is assisted by Charles Kirksey and Hinkie Eads, who have been a
great asset to the team for several years.