Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 25, 2018

Senior boys, Trojan tennis set for success

By Justin Webster | Apr 10, 2018
Photo by: JUSTIN WEBSTER/Ledger photo Fairfield senior boys' tennis members are, from left, Gannon Courtright, Logan Williams and Jarod Willmon. Not pictured is Dante Cingire.

When they have been able to play tennis, the Fairfield boys’ team has done well, beating Mt. Pleasant in dramatic fashion, 5-4, in 30-degree temperatures last week.

Head Coach Bill Sheppard has four seniors and three of them were at practice when The Fairfield Ledger stopped by to discuss their final seasons.

The trio includes Gannon Courtright, Jarod Willmon and Logan Williams.

Newbie Dante Cingire is the missing fourth member, an athlete familiar with tennis who decided to join the FHS team for the first time this season.


How are you holding up during your senior year?

Gannon Courtright: I’m holding up pretty good, yeah. *laughs*


How are you doing three-quarters of the way through your senior year?

Jarod Willmon: I’m doing great! Can’t wait for it to be over.

Logan Williams: We’re ready to finish strong with a great team season.


What has been the most fun about tennis so far?

Courtright: It’s pretty fun playing doubles. Logan and I had some good stuff going. We played pretty well and it’s fun to play with a teammate.

Willmon: The team. The people on the team are fun to be around.

Williams: It’s great being around my teammates. We’re going to have a great team this year and have a lot of wins, with me and Gannon doing pretty well.


Thoughts on the cold weather?

Courtright: You kind of just have to deal with it. I probably played the coldest tennis match last Monday(April 2) that I’ve ever played in, and I hope I’m going to play in, hopefully. I’m just ready for it to warm up, it’s April.


Does it take away from your mentality at all?

Willmon: I would say it does take away from your mentality a little bit, but once you get moving, you get warmed up and so it’s not as big of a deal.

Courtright: Another thing to add is, it’s not like your opponent is playing in 70 degree weather, they have to play in it, too.

Williams: Obviously [it’s lame], but you have to power through it and man up. Think about the next point and get through it.


What are your goals, personal or as a team.

Courtright: I definitely think for our team a good goal is to win conference, because we got off to a good start by beating Mt. Pleasant. I also want to qualify for state again, in tennis too. That’s another one of my goals.

Willmon: I’d like to stay consistent, and with that consistency get better as the season goes on. I’d like to make team state, for everone, and go from there I guess.

Williams: Last year, I had one loss and this year I want to improve on that and finish with an unbeaten record. I also want to go to state with my doubles partner Gannon. It’d be cool to win conference as a team, that’d be a good accomplishment.


What do you need to do to get where you need to be by the postseason?

Courtright: For me, I probably need to get my serve more consistent and also a little bit of net work, too.

Willmon: I’d say I need to work on the consistency of my ground strokes and focus on getting them in.

Williams: I have a good serve, I just need to focus on making sure I get that in. As far as staying healthy, keep icing and stay away for Mountain Dew.


What will you miss most about tennis?

Courtright: Tennis, just playing it is fun. Cross country and wrestling, I mean I love them and have fun, but tennis is just a different kind of fun and it’s a fun game to play.

Willmon: Playing it with friends is going to be what I miss most. The friendliness of it and the hospitality.

Williams: I’m going to miss Bill Sheppard, my favorite tennis coach. All of his quirky sayings and what not. I definitely enjoy playing with my teammates and it’s a fun sport. It’s competitive, it’s fast you know and I like it.


What are your college plans?

Courtright: I’m going to attend Iowa and major in mechanical engineering.

Willmon: I’m going to go to Iowa State and major in chemistry.

Williams: I’m attending Muscatine Community College for business.


What would you say to someone who is on the fence about trying tennis?

Courtright: Just give it a try I say. I know I was kind of playing tennis before high school, so I already knew I wanted to play, but once you play you realize how fun it is and if you work hard you can get pretty good.

Willmon: My freshman year was my first year, so I had never touched a racket before. It was really fun that first year and it’s only gotten better since with getting to know the other players and coach. It’s just been fun.

Williams: My freshman year, Gannon actually introduced tennis to me and we started playing together on the team sophomore year. To all of the haters out there for tennis, I would say come out here and actually try it. Try it for yourself and don’t knock it until you try it.


Remind people how athletic tennis is.

Courtright: Oh yeah. I mean, I know people say that tennis is an easy sport, but if you get in a long tennis match, you’ll be exhausted.

You run back and forth all the time and you have to get your feet set everytime, it’s a lot of running and you have no idea what’s coming next and you have to just be ready to sprint short-sprints and then you have to get back and get set again and get ready for the next point.

Willmon: I would say it’s tiring because of all of the explosive energy that you need to get to the ball. It could be on one side of the court and you have to race over to the other side, and that can go back and forth for the entire match. That can get really tiring.

Williams: I would agree with these guys about the endurance. I’m not the most athletic guy out, but as long as you put your best effort and go hard every point, you can really make it enjoyable and compete with the other players.


Will tennis be a life-long sport that you play?

Courtright: Yeah, definitely. It’s a lifetime sport. That’s what our coach always says.

Willmon: I guess as long as I have good friends to play with, I’d definitely like to play tennis for the rest of my life.

Williams: Absolutely a life-long sport. I really enjoy and it’s something I’ll teach my kids someday.

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