Sitting out for a season with the potential to make a difference is always a difficult task. Players want to be out on the court instead of watching from the sidelines.
University School of Jackson sophomore Cade Reasons had to sit out his freshman year after transferring from Jackson Christian, but he made the most out of this season.
Reasons helped lead the Bruins back to the Division II-A state title match and won doubles gold to be named The Jackson Sun’s 2015 Male Tennis Player of the Year.
“It was a relief to get out there and play this year,” Reason said. “I played some my eighth grade year, but that is not like playing the whole season.”
Reasons made the singles state quarterfinals as an eighth-grader two years ago, and that experience benefited Reasons.
“I got to see what the state tournament is like that year,” he said. “I have played a lot of tournaments at [Old Fort Park], and I love playing there with the intensity and yelling of the crowd.”
With George Markos — USJ’s No. 1 player in 2014 — out with an injury, Reasons stepped right into the top spot this season to lead the Bruins to the Division II-A West region championship.
But the injury to Markos could have also hurt Reasons, as the two are doubles partners. That didn’t happen as the two played well in the postseason to win the region title and eventually the state doubles title.
“We have known each other since we were young,” Reasons said. “We used to play all the time at the tennis club, and he used to kill me. Being friends really helped us get right back at it in doubles.”
Looking forward, Reasons now wants to take the next step as a team.
“I want to win a state title every year now,” he said. “I want to go ahead and call it that we are going to win state as a team next year.”
Whether Reasons and Markos try for another doubles title will be left up to Markos.
“It is George’s senior year, so I am going to leave it up to him,” Reasons said.
Reasons said he wants to improve in the mental part of the game.
“For me, tennis is 90 percent mental,” he said. “I beat myself sometimes instead of my opponent. I need to work on staying calm.”
Michael Odom, 425-9754
All-West Tennessee Tennis Team
• Bolivar senior Landon Harris
• Bolivar senior Jake Wilson
• TCA eighth-grader Benjamin Sidwell
• USJ junior George Markos