BCHS warms up to spring sports and new tennis coach

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Winter is coming to an end, which means the BCHS track, tennis, softball, and baseball teams are all kicking practices into high-gear to get ready for the upcoming season. For the tennis team, this is under the control of a new tennis coach.

The new Pirate tennis coach is Ms. Lori Singleton, who has an extensive history with both playing and teaching tennis. “I’ve played tennis since I could walk,” she explained. “I started taking lessons at age 5, started playing high school in the sixth grade. I played my first semester of college before transferring to EKU where I am now finishing my master’s degree. I have taught tennis at summer camps for the past four summers through the city of Lexington,” she continued, “taught private lessons for the past 8 years, and I’m more than excited for Berea Community High School to be my first high school team to coach.”

Not all of Singleton’s tennis experiences have been positive. “A difficult time in my tennis career is when I would personally feel burnt out,” she said. “I would practice myself year-round and play tournaments in the off-season. Over time, I realized that if I wanted to continue to love this sport whether I am playing or teaching it, I have to give myself space from it.” Singleton plans to use her difficult experiences to help team members who are feeling the same way: “Whenever a player is feeling like they can’t improve or that they have feelings of dread towards practicing, I remind them that they can never improve in a negative mindset.”

With such a high level of past experience, the question is easily raised as to what approach will be taken for the upcoming season. Singleton explained that in addition to improving the mindset of and connecting with the team, “My goals for this season are to show the players their potential and to help them carry this throughout their tennis careers.” It’s clear that, for Ms. Singleton, much of the improvement on the team level is based on achieving reasonable and recognized goals.

Pirate athletes are also anticipating the upcoming season, such as sophomore Coleman Reed, who has particular goals for the 2018-19 track season: “One of my personal goals is to shave about half a second off of my 100 meter dash time. As a leader of the track team, I also really hope that I can help solidify the core group of the seventh and eighth-grade athletes because we don’t have very many high-school students that participate, so we really need to solidify that group for when they enter the high-school level…Going into this new season,” Reed continued, “I really want to help the team as a whole, to make sure we’re all supporting each other and pushing each other so that we can all be our best.”

Reed concluded that, even through the most demoralizing moments, “you just gotta pull through it, keep going, and think about the next meet.” Ms. Singleton advanced this sentiment further, saying, “High school athletics are competitive, and being moved into a new region for our season this year I can’t wait to see how we can compete against our new competitors. Above all else we achieve, I want the players to always enjoy the game.”

While the tennis team adjusts to the new coach, the track, softball, and baseball teams continue to practice with the coaches from last year with excitement and a hint of nervousness.