JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After a 62-year drought there’s finally a singles girls tennis State Champion from a Gateway Conference school. Atlantic Coast’s Kendall Nash won the Class 3A title on Wednesday at the FHSAA tennis championships in Seminole County.
It’s the first time since 1956 that a singles champion has come from an area public school. That year 1956 also happened to be when Nash’s coach Louise Little was born.
“I didn’t know it had been that long,” said Nash. “When that happened, I was walking to pick the balls up and I was just smiling. Nobody could see me and I just had the biggest smile on my face.”
Just a year ago there was a much different reaction on Nash’s face. In 2017 she reached the doubles championship with teammate April Sanchez but the duo came up just short in the final.
“I think she understood even more clearly that little mistakes at the very top are the ones that keep you out,” said Little. “It’s practically flawless tennis, when you’re in the finals and semifinals.”
Nash went 15-0 on the season and will play next fall on a full tennis scholarship for Kennesaw State University. In the meantime she’s using the final couple of weeks until graduation to enjoy this history making state championship.
“Random people come up to me and say congratulations,” said Nash. “I’ve had the baseball team, volleyball, soccer and everybody tweet me congratulations and say we’re so proud of you. It’s been 62 years since this was done and thinking about that is kind of crazy.”