Central seniors go out with perfect conference mark
Jeff Linville Staff Reporter
DOBSON — With Thursday’s victory, the Surry Central tennis team wrapped up its first season in the new Western Piedmont Conference with a perfect league record.
That comes in no small part from a group of seniors that have gained a lot of experience in the past two years.
The Lady Eagles honored their four seniors after Thursday’s finale: Kennedy Dockery, Mikayla Cox, Cassie Hoge and Addie Norman.
Dockery and Cox have been the top 2A doubles team in the area for the past three seasons.
Hoge had to bide her time last year before jumping into the starting lineup this season.
Norman is a tennis newcomer who has been a welcome addition to the team.
“She came out her senior year,” Coach Dennis Miller said of Norman. “I’ve enjoyed having her out. She is such a good kid.”
“She has worked hard all year,” he added. “I’ve been really pleased.”
Miller said back at the start of the season that Hoge was a pleasant surprise in practice.
A third-year player, Miller thought she might be the seventh seed and maybe only see action in doubles.
However, she came back more prepared and ready to go.
Cassie was tentative most of the time last year, Miller said.
“This year she came out hitting the ball with a purpose,” he said. “This year it all clicked.”
Not only did she make the starting six, she has played fifth most of the season.
Cox and Dockery have played tennis all four years and have advanced to the regional level the past two years.
Mikayla nearly went undefeated in singles this year as the fourth seed, according to Miller. Cox’s lone defeat came in Central’s only team defeat against Mount Airy.
Dockery stepped up to the second seed this year and showed plenty of heart and determination in some long matches.
In a match against North Surry this week, Dockery and North’s Abby Lawson played 27 minutes to settle just one game, noted Miller.
“She might start out slow, but she always works all the way through and has done that all year,” he said.
Dockery said her favorite memories from her career are winning a doubles match at the 2A regional tournament last year and winning the conference title this year.
She added, “The best part of being on the team was the friendships that developed over the past four years and being given the opportunity to play for a great coach in Coach Miller.”
Hoge said she was “so glad everyone on our team came together to make Senior Night so great. I’m so thankful for Dennis, he’s been the best, most supportive coach I could ever ask for.
“Agreed,” said Cox. “We couldn’t have done it without him.”
Staff reporter Tanya Chilton contributed to this article.
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