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Picayune tennis has to put its season on pause

Picayune’s tennis team took part in a meet against the Pass Christian Pirates on March 12, which included several athletes winning their matchups.

Daniel Moore and Anthony Warren won their doubles match along with Destiny Hannah and Katy Craft.

Will and Nick Walerius won their doubles match and Carson Kellar got a win in his boys singles match.

Head Coach Chris Wise said his athletes maintained a positive attitude the entire season with the players trying their best to improve their game.

“I think we had a really good work ethic, the kids were eager to learn. They seemed to be really trying hard at tennis and seemed to like it,” Wise said.

The team had been scheduled to take part in several more matches before the start of district matchups.

However, due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus,

Governor Tate Reeves issued an executive order that all schools would remain closed until April 17.

Following the governor’s order the MHSAA extended the suspension of athletic activities until April 17 as well.

Prior to the suspension of play, the progress of the athletes had been noticeable.

Wise said several of the athletes had never played tennis before the beginning of the season, but that each player was focused on getting up to speed on the intricacies of the sport.

“It’s fun to work with kids like that when they realize they have potential. Then you hope they play year round and take lessons, which can make a world of difference,” Wise said.

There are two seniors on the Maroon Tide tennis team whose final season is up the in the air because but there’s no guarantee that suspension won’t be extended past April 17. Wise said the uncertainty surrounding the situation makes the suspension more complicated, but that the athletes are hopeful the season will start back up again at some point.

“Decisions are being made for our health and safety that need to be made. It’s just coming to grips with it and dealing with it despite the fact that you want to continue to play,” Wise said.

Despite not being able to have practices as a team, Wise said there are still things the athletes can be doing at home to keep their skills sharp.

There are videos online of certain techniques and strategies the athletes could be watching, but without the ability to get on the court things like racket skills and the understanding of the game can take a hit.

“If they watch a new forehand technique and they try to teach themselves that without actually being on the court and working on it, it’s difficult,” Wise said.

Not only are athletes across the state affected by the spread of the virus, athletes all over the world are having to deal with similar issues.

Wise said his players need to empathize with other athletes to be able to overcome the effects of the suspension.

“It’s tough to realize that when they do remerge and are active again they’re in the same situation every other athlete is in. If they look at it from that standpoint they can realize it’s not impossible to step back in and be successful,” Wise said.