Up & Coming Weekly

September 10, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 25 of 32

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM SEPTEMBER 11-17, 2019 UCW 25 McKayla Daffin McKenzie Daffin Brady hopes to continue Bulldog tennis tradition by EARL VAUGHAN JR. Susan Brady is in her first year as girls tennis coach at Terry Sanford High School. Even though she hasn't been there long, she appreciates the school's rich tradition in the sport, with multiple sin- gles, doubles and state team champions. "There's always pres- sure,'' said Brady, a veteran of United States Tennis Association league play through Highland Country Club where she's competed for state titles and beyond over the last 12 years. But her biggest concern is making sure she can handle the basics of coaching with this team when it's needed, teaching players who need structure or help with groundstrokes or other shots. Fortunately for Brady this team is pretty sound fundamentally, as it earned the No. 7 ranking state- wide in the North Carolina High School Tennis Coaches Association first 3-A poll of the season. Playing No. 1 singles is senior Katy Beasley, who is also a captain. Brady calls her steady and a motivator for her teammates. "One of the things I love about her is she doesn't give up,'' Brady said. "She digs deep no matter what. She has this fight in her that's essential on the court.'' Beasley feels her strong points are a slice that catches a lot of her opponents off guard and her abil- ity to move her opponents around the court. As for her being labeled a fighter on the court, Beasley thinks that comes from her refusal to accept a match is ever over. "You can turn it around at any point,'' she said. "I think that's a good part of how I play. I play for the point rather than the whole match.'' At No. 2 singles is MaryAnna Stiles, a sophomore. While Brady called Stiles one of the sweetest young women she's ever met, she said she brings an intimi- dating game face to the court and never loses her cool. "She's incredibly consistent and fun to watch,'' Brady said. No. 3 is Lauren McDonough. McDonough's game is marked by great groundstrokes and good placement. "She is a good tennis thinker,'' Brady said. "I can see her setting up shots. Her goal is she wants to win her match and be the first one off the court.'' The No. 4 player is Caroline Beasley. Brady calls her the life of the tennis party with her bubbly personality. "She keeps us laughing and on our toes,'' Brady said. But on the court, Beasley takes no prisoners, Brady said. "Her groundstrokes are some of the hardest I've ever seen,'' she said. At No. 5 singles is Emily Stone. Brady said you can tell from watching Stone she played tennis from a young age. "Her strokes are great and she's very solid,'' Brady said. "She brings a lot to the court.'' The Bulldogs are 3-0 this season through Tuesday, Sept. 3. Susan Brady Katy Beasley Jack Britt twins terror on golf course by EARL VAUGHAN JR. It only took Jack Britt's Daffin sisters, McKenzie and McKayla, two seasons of varsity golf to place among the top 25 play- ers in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association's state 4-A golf championship. As they enter their third sea- son with the Buccaneers, the duo is aiming even higher. "I have no doubt come the end of the season both of them are going to be in con- tention,'' said Ray Musselwhite, girls golf coach at Jack Britt. "They are working hard to improve their games everyday.'' That work includes the tough competition the sisters face in the Sandhills Athletic Conference. "Week in, week out, we face such a tough opponent in Pinecrest,'' he said. The Moore County school just a stone's throw from national golf capital Pinehurst has long been known for producing top high school players. "I'm not afraid to put these two young ladies against their best two any day of the week,'' Musselwhite said. At this point in their devel- opment, Musselwhite said neither sister has a lot of weak- nesses. "They would both probably tell you their iron play is something they continually want to improve,'' he said. "Off the tee and around the greens they are solid.'' A key for both players, he said, is managing emotions and the mental side of the game. "I think we are going to be familiar with the courses we have to play in the regionals and states and so on,'' he said. "It's a matter of laying out a game plan and executing.'' McKayla said the two help each other in practice and on the course. "Sometimes if I have trouble hit- ting a shot she'll help me out and kind of give me some advice,'' McKayla said. "If she's struggling with a differ- ent part of her swing or a certain club, I'll tell her what helps with my swing, especially our wedge play.'' Both sisters think they have a shot at the state title this year, but McKayla said she doesn't want to put pres- sure on herself. "That just makes you play worse,'' she said. "Mostly I'm trying to shoot lower scores and keep practicing.'' McKenzie's big concern is consistency. "I've had plenty of tournaments where I've been under a couple on one nine and over a couple on another nine,'' she said. "I'm trying to stay consistent and focus on one shot at a time.'' McKayla agrees with McKenzie on the importance of focus. "I think as long as our mental game is strong, we should be okay,'' she said. "The skill is definitely there. As long as you can keep your cool, keep your head in the game and don't stress ourselves, I think we'll be okay.'' Attention Students: Let Your Voice Be Heard Get published in our award-winning community newspaper Up & Coming Weekly Send in your feature articles, editorials, short stories, movie and music reviews or original poetry and artwork to: highschoolhighlights@upandcomingweekly.com Subject line: High School Highlights Please include your photo and school information.

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