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Panther tennis builds for the future
Bezel Abdul Shakur is currently the Panthers lead singles player. - photo by By Patty Leon / Coastal Courier
Love is in the air. Not just the love of the spring flowers, warmer weather and longer days. We are talking serious love, tennis style.
The Liberty County Panthers tennis team is four matches into their season. With the loss of several seniors, this year is more of a building stage, said tennis coach Sandra Eichholz.
“We lost a bunch of seniors and we are starting from scratch,” she said. “We’ve struggled a bit this season with brand new players. But we are looking up. We are building for the future.”
Eichholz said they are currently 0-4 and believes it’s the lack of court experience that has kept them from taking a match.
“These kids are first year tennis players,” she said. “We have a bunch of girls that are first year players that have either played basketball or cheerleading so they have some athletic abilities but you know tennis is a tough sport and you just can’t learn how to play it in one season. If they stick with it we should have some real good teams in the future.”
In addition to the many new girls on the squad, Eichholz has many new boys playing their first year. One in particular has caught the coach’s eye.
“Our number one singles player we have right now is Bezel Abdul Shakur. He is from a military family that just relocated to Hinesville from Washington, DC. He learned how to play on a backboard and is self-taught. He has a lot of heart.”
As for the ladies, Eichholz has her eye on two players as she preps her team for the future.
“Whitney Bets who played volleyball decided she would play tennis this year because her boyfriend is playing tennis,” the coach said. “She is doing pretty well on the court. Courtney Bush played with our team last season and she will be our go to girl next year.”
The Panthers serve their next match at Richmond Hill on Monday.
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