Matoaca Girls No. 1 Rina Croston, Sophomore No. 2 Brittany Beverly, Freshman No. 3 Jackie Cheely, Senior No. 4 Zoey Coleman, Sophomore First year...

Matoaca Girls

No. 1 Rina Croston, Sophomore
No. 2 Brittany Beverly, Freshman
No. 3 Jackie Cheely, Senior
No. 4 Zoey Coleman, Sophomore

First year head coach Jen Wells is excited about the talent she has on a young Matoaca team as the top four seeds feature one athlete, do-it-all Jackie Cheely, who is an upperclassmen.

“Croston is showing a lot of potential,” Wells said. “She’s aggressive, not afraid to hit it hard, and not afraid of the ball.”

Beverly, a freshman, hits the ball with skill. While inexperienced at the high school level, she brings a rarity to schools south of the river – a player with outside tennis experience. Cheely, who was a 5A South All-Region honoree in field hockey, is an athlete. Coleman plays on the U.S. Tennis Association junior team.

Cheely and Croston project to be a good doubles team and Matoaca projects to be middle of the pack in the area. A strong top three locally will serve them well this year.

Matoaca Boys

No. 1 Blake Miles, Junior
No. 2 Connor Thomas, Sophomore
No. 3 Simon Lee, Senior
No. 4 Treigh Smith, Senior

Head Coach Matt Ramirez shifts from girls tennis coach to boys tennis coach after Christopher Szybisty took the head coaching post at Clover Hill for boys tennis. With top two seeds Brandon Harper and Reid Driskill graduating, young players must step up.

Miles is a power player and has the ability to be a staunch  No. 1 for the next two seasons. Thomas, a sophomore, has improved his mental and physical game, according to his coach, and is expected to be a leader in the program for the next three seasons. Lee is considered a smart player and is consistent. Smith, a newcomer, has the potential to be dominant as a fourth seed and Ramirez suggested that he will be very important to the team’s success.

In Conference 12, it appears Clover Hill is the front runner, but it’s possible that Matoaca could make a second straight trip to the conference championship game and 5A South Regionals if things go as expected.

Thomas Dale Girls

No. 1 Allison Stocker, Senior
No. 2 Lucia Alegre, Junior
No. 3 Fatima Felton, Sophomore
No. 4 Megan Burt, Sophomore

Losing the top two seeds on their team in Elizabeth Clark and Kristen Davison, the Knights come into 2015 inexperienced and youthful, with most of the team being sophomores and freshman.

“We’re excited about the future,” said first year Head Coach Ellen Womble.

Stocker and Alegre will lead the way for the Knights, who have already won a couple of exciting matches. Burt, the four seed, and Emma Clark, the younger sister of Elizabeth, have turned heads with both their talent and consistency. In a recent victory against Dinwiddie, the Knights were without two of their top six, forcing Clark, a six seed to play up to four, and Tamia Vines, the team’s  No. 9, to play in her first competitive match. Both girls won and sealed the victory for Thomas Dale.

“Our match-up against Dinwiddie really showed the heart of the team,” Womble said.

Thomas Dale Boys

No. 1 Nate Haskins, Junior
No. 2 Jacob Crowder, Junior
No. 3 Jerry Chan, Senior
No. 4 Nick Sisson, Freshman

Head Coach Andrew Boydoh expects his squad to stand strong against teams in the Central District, with the most Interesting matches being Prince George, Matoaca, and Dinwiddie. All of these matches should be close. In Conference 3, the Knights face an uphill climb to compete with the likes of Cosby and James River.

Top seeded Haskins is an athlete who has impressed his coach with his maturity and responsibility on and off the court. Boydoh applauded his work ethic academically as well as his exercise and nutrition habits.

“He’s hitting with local pros and doing outside work with other guys,” Boydoh said. “He’s very dedicated.”

Like the girls, there’s excitement on the boys side for a freshman in Sisson, the fourth seed. As a eighth grader he hit around with the team and is a natural tennis athlete.

Boys Top Seed- Leewood Nguyen, Junior
Girls Top Seed- Neonna Ferebee, Junior

With both teams being inexperienced and many new players to the sport of tennis the Monarchs will look to their two top seeds, Nguyen on the boys side and Ferebee on the girls side, for leadership and guidance.

Nguyen is a top seed for a second straight season and is known as a defensive player and he returns the ball well. Ferebee is a top seed for the first time and this marks her second year on the team. Meadowbrook Tennis Coach James Freeman views these players as the program’s leaders and both have much potential.