“Bringing back varsity tennis here at Brainerd is part of our master plan in athletics to help expose our students to the country club sports. We fielded a boys’ golf team in the fall, now tennis this spring and hopefully swimming and lacrosse next year.”
-- Brainerd HS principal Uras Agee
For Brainerd High School tennis coach Alphonso Canty, he has his credentials – he is a certified teaching pro from Van Der Meer Tennis Academy – plenty of courts and teenage students ready to be part of Panther Tennis.
The team’s first practice is next Monday and the Panthers host Chattanooga Central in the season opener on March 11.
“I plan to have 10 players on each team and we will work hard to be competitive in our district,” said Canty who is in charge of a Brainerd sport that has sat dormant since the late 1990s.
The Panthers will compete in A-AA Region 3 District 6 against defending champion Hixson (boys and girls), Chattanooga Central, Van Buren, Lookout Valley, East Ridge and Red Bank.
Two of the players who will give leadership to the newest program on campus are coach Canty’s daughters, Brianna and Brittney.
Introduced to the sport at age 2 and competing in their first tournament at age 11, the 15-year-old twins each lost in the first round in that first tournament and eventually met in the consolation finals with Brianna winning.
The victories have continued as the sisters are tennis veterans of ALTA (Atlanta Lawn Tennis Assoc.) where they helped teams to league championships in the 12s and 14s before enrolling at Brainerd in January.
“We are excited about the upcoming tennis season and hopefully we can have a competitive spring,” said Brianna who along with her sister are slated to play at No.1 and 2 singles and No.1 doubles.
Brainerd Tennis Home Schedule – Boys and Girls
March 11 – Chattanooga Central, 3 p.m. (season opener)
March 13 – East Ridge, 3 p.m.
March 20 – Lookout Valley, 3 p.m.
April 3 – Hixson, 3:30 p.m.
April 8 - East Ridge, 3 p.m.
Coach Alphonso Canty
High School - Turner HS (Ga.) '66 lettered in football, baseball
College - Carson Newman '74 - football
“We are excited to once again field boys and girls varsity tennis teams. It’s crazy to have tennis courts adjacent to the school and no team. Adding another country club sport is win-win for everyone on campus.”
-- Brainerd Principal Uras Agee
contact B.B. Branton at [email protected]