A breeding ground for success on and off the court

Friday, April 13, 2007
Samantha Thomas staying low to the ground to return a volley.


Lewisburg Middle School is the only middle school in Marshall County with a tennis team and its players stand out here and statewide.

"If you look around the state, there are not that many middle schools with tennis programs," LMS Principal Randy Hubbell explained recently.

The LMS squad, under the tutelage of Marshall County High School Coach Dickie Adkins and Assistant Coach Sue Petree, is in its 12th year and is a breeding ground for success on the court and in the classroom.

There are currently 22 students on the team that has to search out opponents to play in Bedford, Williamson, and Warren County.

The LMS tennis team has four teams on its 2007 schedule with the closest rival being Harris Middle School in Shelbyville. The Williamson County opponents are Freedom Middle School and Poplar Grove Middle, both in Franklin. Coach Adkins and his squad also play Warren County Middle School in McMinnville, more than 90 miles away.

"Coach Adkins and Petree do a tremendous job at the middle school level preparing these student athletes for high school," Hubble said. "If you look at the success of the MCHS program, it directly correlates to the work done at the middle school level.

"I also think that playing on the team keeps them focused in the classroom," Hubbell said.

"They have to follow the same guidelines of our athletic policy as the other student athletes at the school. They have to be successful in the classroom before they can play and we check their grades to make sure they are complying with the policy. There are very few times that we have to intervene. I believe the more activities students are involved in, such as clubs or athletics, helps them keep focused in the classroom."