In 2013, Dana Forsyth, a teaching pro at Cedar Bluff Racquet Club, noticed she had several 8-year-olds in her clinics with excellent tennis acumen and ability. This was the start of the High Fives in USTA Junior Team Tennis.
Forsyth coached the team for several years, winning five of seven state titles — and once placing third in Sectional play.
Three of those 8-year-olds, having been crowned as TSSAA tennis state champions in high school, finished as national runner-up among the six-member High Fives during 18 Years and Under National Team Tennis Championships in Orlando Oct. 6-9.
“It was unbelievable; the kids fought hard,” said High Fives coach Derek Stultz, a teaching pro at CBRC who took over when JTT started back in ’21 after shutting down in ’20 due to COVID.
It consisted of Riley Cassity (Division I-AAA state champion with Farragut in 2022 now a junior), Allie Faulkner (two-time Division II-A singles state champion now a sophomore at Christian Academy of Knoxville), Eleni Liakonis (Division II-AA doubles champ now a junior at Knoxville Catholic), Theo Liakonis (Eleni’s twin brother, also a junior at KCHS), John Macon (senior at William Blount) and Ben Snyder (junior at KCHS).
Courtneys are top coaches among 12 FHS All-Region 2-6A season honorees
A lot of good things happened, post-season honors-wise, at the state and region level for Farragut High School and Webb School of Knoxville, football players.
Mr. Football Finalists
Two Farragut-area football standouts are now among the final three to become a Tennessee Titans Mr. Football awardee for 2022.
Reese Keeney, FHS senior kicker/punter, is in the final three for Mr. Football Kicker.
Charlie Robinson, Webb School of Knoxville
senior quarterback/defensive back, is in a three-way battle with a pair from Lipscomb Academy — Kaleb Beasley and
Maureice “Junior” Sherrill — for Division II-AA Mr. Football honors.
KNOXVILLE — It was an “exciting collaboration” of “no-pressure swimming” for the Farragut High School’s swim and dive team while competing against Knoxville West.
“I was really excited to collaborate with West’s coach Joe Peeden on the thought process for this meet. The theme of our meet was ‘swim fast, but not your usual fast,’” FHS head coach Jessica Abrahamson said about both schools agreeing to enter many of their swimmers in events in which they don’t normally compete.
Such unfamiliarity didn’t negatively affect the Aqua Admirals on the scoreboard, as FHS easily defeated the Runnin’ Rebels 251-58 in UT’s Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center Sunday, Nov. 20.
“Our team captains played an essential role in supporting our underclassmen to navigate new and unfamiliar races,” Abrahamson said.
For example, “We had new leaders emerge like Steven Xiao, Adam Webster and Alex Moran in the 100-free,” the coach added. “That was an extraordinary set of performances from these young men. Adam’s time-drop of over 6 seconds was directly related to his commitment to technique changes and focus on turns this past week.
Three big momentum swings ended up benefiting Gatlinburg-Pittman, using a 15-6 edge in the fourth quarter to defeat host Farragut and claim the annual Farragut Thanksgiving Tournament championship.
Despite the 50-44 Lady Highlanders win, during the title game in FHS’s Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium Saturday night, Nov. 26, Lady Ads skipper Jason Mayfield said this game would serve as a valuable learning experience for his young team.
“These are tough games that we need,” said Mayfield, whose team lost for the first time this season (5-1) after routing West and edging Fulton in double overtime in the first two tourney games. “We came out in the second half executing things really well.”
Maelyn McNealy led Farragut in scoring against GPHS with 17, followed by her sister, K.J. McNealy, and Annalise Bishop each scoring nine.
“There’s a ton of freshmen, and we’re learning how to play as a team,” Bishop said.
The Highlanders broke open a close game late in the second quarter, building a 26-19 lead.
But Farragut responded with an 18-4 run for a 37-30 lead midway into the third quarter when K.J. McNealy fed Bishop with a fastbreak lay-up.