WITH FALL sports set to get underway, Tullahoma High School (THS) recently served up a bit of news when it announced that Ashley Abraham would be taking over as the school’s new tennis coach.
Prior to taking over the THS programs, Abraham had coached Tullahoma Middle School’s (TMS) teams since 2018 and has had success on the court. After being an instructor at Lakewood Golf & Country Club, Abraham coached the TMS squads on a volunteer basis.
“I really wanted to get involved in the community and do something,” Abraham said. “Coaching was a way I could contribute, and I grew to enjoy teaching. I’ve been focused on growing the program and getting to know a lot of the parents and the students.”
When she took over the middle school program, only 10 students were on the roster. Nearly four years later, that number has significantly increased and featured 30 players on last season’s rosters.
“The program has definitely grown, and it’s great,” she said. “I went to both East and West Middle Schools and met with a lot of the kids, because I wanted to speak with them so that they could see me face-to-face, and I could answer any questions about the game. It’s a great sport to be involved in, and I think it’s been great for many of the kids in the community.”
As she steps into the high school role, Abraham says she wants to continue growing the program.
“As middle school kids move up, I am excited to coach them even further and help them perfect their skill level,” Abraham said. “At the same time, I want to ensure that the middle school team keeps growing. I want to work with the [middle school] coach and have some high school kids mentor them.”
On top of skills on the court, Abraham said she hopes to pass on her knowledge to her players.
“What I enjoy most about the sport is probably the relationships you get to build,” she explained. “You meet a lot of different people. You also learn everyday skills, because it’s not just learning how to play a sport. You also get to learn many life skills along the way.”
Abraham and her players will also have the opportunity to play on brand new surfaces this year, as the high school is in the process of renovating its courts.
“I think the courts needed more than just resurfacing,” Abraham said. “ It’s exciting for me, but I know it’s exciting for players and members of the community. We don’t just have the middle school and high school team playing on it; we have high school students who use the courts during physical education classes, a tennis league and others who can also play on the courts, so this is exciting for the community.” GN