By DANIEL KAUFFMAN
12:05 AM EDT, June 12, 2012
For all the success Clear Spring tennis coach Lisa Shives has seen her Blazers enjoy on the tennis court in the last five years, they managed to do something in 2012 that even she had never been a part of before.
For the first time in program history, both the boys team and the girls team went undefeated (15-0) in the regular season — winning MVAL Antietam titles in the process. They then swept the team titles at the Washington County Tournament for the second straight season.
Shives is the 2012 Herald-Mail Washington County Tennis Coach of the Year — winning the award for the fourth time in five years.
“They just worked really hard and they seemed to help each other a lot,” Shives said. “The better players helped bring along the newcomers and that was a part of it, good team unity.”
Overall, Blazers singles players and doubles teams went 161-30 this season, including the county and Region I tournament. The girls went 85-16 and the boys went 76-14.
“I had a little thing before every match they played, just little inspirational quotes, so that when they gave me a gift at the end of the season, there was an inspirational quote on it which I thought was kind of cool,” Shives said. “‘Success is a balance of hard work and talent’ was the quote they gave me, and that was the theme for this group. They were hard workers but also talented kids.”
Shives had so many success stories on her team this season, she couldn’t narrow them down.
“Andrew Shupp and Scott Hovermale at No. 1 (boys) doubles was most pleasant surprise,” Shives said of the team that went undefeated through the regular season and finished second at the county tournament. “I was blessed to see two senior girls, Jamie Humbertson and Jess Barnhart (11-4 at No. 1 girls doubles), who I didn’t expect to come out for the team. When they said they were coming out, I was totally thrilled. Dominique Forsman (17-3 in girls and mixed doubles) really improved over the winter and came along nicely. Who would have expected my third girls doubles — Zoie (O’Neal) and Sam (Michael, who were 9-2 this season) — to make it to regionals? Corey McClure at No. 2 (boys) singles (12-3), he was all over the court. If it hit inbounds, he was going to get to it. Zac (O’Neal, who was 15-4 at No. 1 boys singles) really did a great job.”
Shives’ program has become one that annually reloads instead of having to rebuild.
“One of the keys to the success of it is we get kids out from every grade, so as freshmen they’re not in seeded spots, but by the time they’re seniors, they’ve worked their way into those spots, so that’s part of the success,” Shives said.
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