CHAPMANVILLE — The Chapmanville Middle School boys’ and girls’ tennis teams are in rebuilding mode.
But so far, things have gone well as both teams are off to a 2-1 start to the fall season.
Chapmanville Middle School has enjoyed tremendous success in its first three seasons as a program.
The girls team finished 14-1 last season and are 35-5 over a three-year span.
The boys finished 11-4 last year and have a 23-13 record in its first three seasons.
Both teams enjoyed a pair of county titles, and conference titles, and are building a formidable team at the high school level. But now the CMS club will have to start from scratch this season.
The Tigers are starting over after graduating seven of their eight girls to the high school level and three of their five boys are now off to CRHS.
Beginning anew hasn’t been easy according to CMS fourth-year coach Chris Kidd, but he has been pleased with the new player’s development thus far.
“It was incredibly tough saying goodbye to my group from last year,” Coach Kidd said. “I coached those kids from sixth grade and up and was very attached to them. They became great players who achieved so much, but they were also great people. I was very fortunate to have the kids and parents I did for three years, but my new group has been interesting. They are different, but in a great way. It’s been fun teaching new kids how to play the game all over again and see them develop. The only returning girl I have was my last seed from last year, and I only have two of my boys from last year’s team. So I’ve been teaching ten new girls and four new boys, and have 10 total sixth graders.
“This is the absolute definition of rebuilding. But I have been so impressed with how well they have improved since June. They couldn’t put the ball over the net or even keep score three months ago and now they are competing against some tough teams and playing extremely well, and I think they are enjoying it. In the end that’s what this is about. Learning to love the sport and wanting to get better and I think we are achieving that.”
In their first match this fall the CMS girls defeated Black Diamond Conference rival Poca 6-0, while the boys fell 5-2.
“I was surprised by our first match. You never know what to expect with a new group, but all day at school they were all so nervous and asking questions,” Kidd said. “Once the matches started I could tell how nervous they all were and spent more time playing therapist than coaching, but they all settled down and played above what I think anyone expected of them against a good team. They’ve come a long way in three months and I was so excited for the girls to get the win and the boys to play as tough as they did.”
Chapmanville girls’ No. 1 seed Ciera Stowers won 8-5 over Poca’s Aryan Woodall, while the Tigers’ No. 3 and No. 4 seeds Mackenzie Phipps and Emily Gore scored wins over Ketlya Donaldson and Kara Hedrick of Poca 8-0 and 8-0.
In doubles, the team of Stowers and Gore won in No. 1 doubles 6-1 over Poca’s Woodell and Richel Arnott. Chapmanville’s Charlee Mullins and Phipps won in the No. 2 doubles match 6-3 over Poca’s Hedrick and Autumn Smith. The CMS No. 3 doubles team of Myka Veres and Kelsey Lemmon won 6-0 over the Dots.
For the boys, the Tigers’ No. 1 seed Austin Hanshaw came away with an 8-3 win over Poca’s Mitch Huffman 8-3, while the No. 1 doubles team of Hanshaw and Preston Dingess prevailed 6-1.
Against county rival Logan, the Tigers again split as the LMS girls defeated Chapmanville 6-1, while the CMS boys knocked off the LMS boys 7-0.
In the girls matches: Logan’s No. 1 seed Emma Justice defeated Stowers 6-2; LMS No. 2 seed RaeAnne Reed defeated Charlee Mullins 6-0; Alexis Jones of Logan won 6-4 over Phipps; and the Timberwolves’ Cassidy Kazee won 6-0 over Emily Gore.
In doubles, Logan’s Justice and Kazee won in No. 1 doubles 6-2 over Stowers and Gore, while Reed and Jones defeated Mullins and Phipps 6-3.
The Tigers picked up a win in No. 3 doubles behind Veres and Lemmon as they defeated Jamie Ball and Chelby Miller of Logan 7-5.
Chapmanville also picked up wins in extra matches from Mackenzie Mullins and Allison Walls, winning 6-0. Alexis Belcher and Emmalee Adkins of Chapmanville also won 6-1. Emily Hughes and Belcher prevailed in another doubles match 6-2, and Hughes and Adkins won 6-4 in the final doubles match.
In the boys matches, Chapmanville’s Austin Hanshaw defeated Logan’s Casey Walsh 6-0, while No. 2 seed Alec Stowers defeated Logan’s Chase Ooten 6-0.
In the No. 3 singles the Tigers’ Preston Dingess won 6-0 over Logan’s Adam Heflin, while Chapmanville’s Levi Adkins won his No. 4 singles match 6-0.
In doubles, the CMS team of Hanshaw and Dingess defeated Walsh and Ooten 6-2. Stowers and Adkins won 6-0 and the No. 3 team of James Carrier and Casey Adkins won 6-2 for the Tigers.
Logan Middle School head coach Bryan Kidd, younger brother of CMS coach Chris Kidd, has started to build his program back from the bottom and is beginning to see the payoff for his emerging team.
“I’m very proud of both my boys and my girls,” Bryan Kidd said. “I have had some amazing players in the past like Hayley Hatfield, Allison Evans and Cameron Adkins who now play for LHS but I honestly think this is my strongest team I’ve had in my three years of coaching. From top to bottom, my girls are awfully close talent wise. I think we will steal a lot of girls’ matches this year from our depth. All of my boys are new but we finally have almost enough for a full team. We have four boys which means we automatically start every match down 1-0 since we have to surrender our third doubles match. A lot of teams that we play this year will have good boys’ teams, but I’m confident we will break through and win a few. The boys and girls on Chapmanville are great players and I even playfully tried to recruit them away from my brother this summer with promises of free snacks. I had no takers. They love my brother who’s continuing to do an excellent job with his team.
“I really want to thank my parents and new Athletic Director Rob Dial for making this season already so enjoyable. Mr. Dial, (former Offensive Coordinator for the CRHS football team), has been outstanding so far in making my job enjoyable.”
In the Tigers’ return engagement with Poca, Chapmanville scored team wins for the boys and girls, as the girls won 6-2, while boys got revenge by knocking off Poca 4-3.
On the girls side, No. 1 seed Ciera Stowers came from behind to defeat Woodall 7-5, as No. 2 seed Charlee Mullins avenged her earlier loss of the season to Autumn Smith with a 6-4 victory.
No. 3 seed Mackenzie Phipps won 6-2 over Donaldson, while Emily Gore cruised to a 6-0 win over Hedrick. Mackenzie Mullins of CMS also picked up a 6-1 singles win over Arnott to make singles a clean sweep for the Tigers.
In doubles action, Coach Kidd subbed in several players, but Chapmanville still picked up a win in No. 3 doubles from Myka Veres and Kelsey Lemmon 6-0.
“I was very proud of my girls in this match,” Kidd said. “Charlee lost her first match to her opponent 8-3 and then won her next match just a week and a half later. We subbed in Alexis and Allison in No. 1 doubles. They are our eight and nine seeds and they took their best players to a 7-6 tiebreaker. That’s just incredible. To think they’ve gotten this much better in a short amount of time shows the talent these young players have. They are such sweet and amazing girls and I love to see them succeed. I couldn’t have been happier for them and how much better they are becoming.”
On the boys side, No. 1 seed Austin Hanshaw defeated Isaac Neal of Poca 6-3, No. 3 seed Preston Dingess of Chapmanville won 6-0, while in doubles the team of Hanshaw and Dingess won 6-1 over Noah Lockhart and Chris Saunders. Alec Stowers and Levi Adkins of Chapmanville also won the decisive match 6-3 over Kyler Meeks and Matt Samples.
The CMS tennis team is scheduled to get back into action this week as they host Logan on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Chapmanville then faces off against Ripley at home on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. before traveling to West Virginia State University to face off with Hurricane on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.