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Picayune tennis wins district championship

The Picayune Maroon Tide Tennis team took home the district championship Friday evening after a successful night of matches against South Jones.

Melanie Kellar won her match 6-2/6-1, Katie Craft and Destiny Hannah won their match 6-0/6-0, Jordan Goss and Trey Roberts had a 6-2/tiebreak win, Anna Comeaux and Bailey Craft won their match 6-1/6-0, Anna Clogher and Railey Dawsey won 8-2 and Anna Comeaux and William Treadaway won 8-0.

The team will participate in the district tournament April 7.

Going into the South Jones meet, Head Coach Chris Wise made sure his athletes understood what was on the line.

“We had a good talk before we left about getting focused, showing up and taking care of things while you’re there, not waiting to get into tiebreakers. Don’t put yourself behind,” Wise said.

Wise has been trying all year to build a more intense, competitive program that prioritizes hard work, fun and winning.

The culture shift has been slow but steady, and the team’s positive results speak to the benefits of the mindset change.

“I’m very pleased with the kids, pleased with the program. We’re getting a little better every year and trying to create more of a tennis atmosphere. They’re growing in competitiveness and it’s fun to watch them,” Wise said.

The wins have kept coming this season for Picayune, but to reach the next level of ability there are still plenty of details that need to be ironed out.

Seeing as the district tournament won’t take place until April 7, the Maroon Tide will have plenty of practice time on the courts to work on whatever areas need reinforcing.

“Court positioning, we’ll work on that a bit. We’ll work on the accuracy of our shots and making sure that we take our time to put it on the court. No matter how much power there is, if you hit the ball and it’s not on the court it doesn’t do any good. We’ll also work on their understanding of strategy a bit so they can begin to exploit opponents’ weaknesses,” Wise said.