Martin, Pierce tabbed top tennis coaches

Martin, Pierce tabbed top tennis coaches


Martin, Pierce tabbed top tennis coaches



Jeff Martin spearheaded the top girls tennis team in the county at Siegel High.

R.J. Pierce did the same on the boys side at Oakland.

Today, The Daily News Journal honors the two as its girls and boys coaches of the year, respectively.

Martin led Siegel to the TSSAA Class AAA girls tennis state semifinals, falling to Dobyns-Bennett 4-3. However, the Lady Stars also advanced Ashlee Boles to the Class AAA singles tournament, and Marissa Kovach and Ragen White reached the state doubles tournament.

“It’s hard to imagine how the season could have been a whole lot better,” Martin said. “I wish we had pulled out the win in the semifinals. This is just a special group. They play well together and support each other.”

Pierce replaced former Oakland coach Randy McClellan prior to the season. The Warren County graduate and former Warren County coach led Oakland’s boys to the Class AAA state team tournament for the first time since 2004.

“It was all the kids,” Pierce said. “It was easy for me to come in and say I coached them up. But they were led by Connor (Shea), who I knew before the season he’d be our No. 1 and that James Myers would be our No. 2.

“Those guys worked their butts off. They were hungry for it after losing in the sectional last year. That left a bitter taste.”

Oakland also advanced an individual to the state tournament in Oakland junior Charley Myers, who reached the state quarterfinals despite being the Patriots’ No. 3 player during the season.

Meanwhile, Boles became the first Rutherford County female to win a state tennis singles title. That helped highlight Siegel’s standout season.

“Ashlee has worked really hard on her game,” Martin said. “She’s improved in a lot of different areas. She used to stand on the baseline and just hammer it.

“She’s worked on her serve and volley and spot placement. She’s really dialed up her game.”


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