After four years of playing tennis for Rockledge High, Katie Sidor has left behind the legacy of a champion.
Coach Gail Larson credited Sidor’s leadership and attitude for Rockledge’s success in recent years. The girls tennis team placed second in 2014 and third in 2015 in Class 2A state championships.
“She carried the team on her back for all four years,” Larson said. ” She wanted to win, not for herself but for our team. She took the team to a whole new level.”
Individually, Sidor joined with sister Emily to win the Class 2A overall doubles championship, the first in Brevard County history. Additionally, she won the No. 1 singles bracket and finished as the overall 2A runner-up.
For the fourth year in a row, each of her high school years, Sidor is FLORIDA TODAY’s Girls Tennis Player of the Year.
A team mentality is what she said helped the Raiders’ girls tennis program grow tremendously since she first started.
“None of us were used to playing as a team,” Sidor said, remembering her freshman year. “Coach (Larson) helped us grow together.”
“Katie came in as a ninth-grader when the team didn’t have much self-belief,” Larson said. “Halfway through the year, she asked to give a pep talk.”
That was when Larson said Sidor went from being just a player to a real leader, trying to instill confidence that she and her teammates needed to go forward.
“Even when we didn’t win,” Larson said, “Katie still had the attitude of a champion.”
To Sidor, her doubles win was more about family than anything else. Growing up playing in the United States Tennis Association, the sisters were always placed in different age divisions, but high school gave them the chance to play together.
“I’ve won lots of singles matches. I’ve done lots of singles things for myself,” Sidor said. “It was great to end my high school career winning with her.”
She will take her positive outlook and her leadership to the courts at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., in the fall to start her college career.
THE FIRST TEAM
Merritt Island Christian
Courtney Copeland, Sr., Edgewood; Madison Donovan, Sr., Melbourne CC; Madison Purkerson, Soph., Bayside; Kaitlin Ruether, Soph., Rockledge; Naomi Villa, Sr., Melbourne; Linda Virgovicova, Jr., Cocoa Beach.
Olivia Bray, Sr., Satellite; Ashley Kutryb, Fr., Holy Trinity; Esha Jain, Sr., Viera; Kelly Johnston, Sr., West Shore; Taylor Lewis, Sr., Astronaut; Lileean Othmer, Sr., Titusville.