DANVILLE – The bottom line for Chad Simpson wasn't the record. Neither he nor his family determined success or failure by the numbers shown in those columns.
"Growing up, it was never about winning and losing," said Simpson, a Danville High School graduate. "There was a focus on preparation, effort and sportsmanship."
URBANA – Whether she becomes a collegiate athlete, Katarina Marjanovic will continue playing tennis.
"I will probably play it for the rest of my life," the Urbana High School senior said. "It's one of the few life-long sports that one can enjoy at any stage in life."
URBANA – Katarina Marjanovic is a terrific tennis player, as her accomplishments attest.
But it doesn't define her. The Urbana senior's interests range far beyond tennis, whether it's as a member of the school orchestra (she plays violin), playing piano, or being involved in Book Club, Math Club or Scholastic Bowl.
MOUNT PROSPECT – Maddie Baillon of St. Thomas More and Lori Haas of Bismarck-Henning won first-round matches at the IHSA girls' state tennis tournament Thursday.
Baillon opened with a 6-2, 6-3 victory against Sarah Torrence of Rockford Auburn. The Sabers freshman fell 6-1 6-1 in the second round to Liselot Koenen of St. Charles North, a Nos. 17-32 seed.
CHAMPAIGN – Season No. 1 of St. Thomas More girls' tennis is nearly in the books, and for those involved, it appears the program's debut has been a rousing success.
That's certainly true for coach Jeremy Beach, the assistant teaching pro at Atkins Tennis Center who is coaching the program along with Atkins director Jim Tressler.
URBANA – Katarina Marjanovic was in a rush to return to state.
The Urbana senior lost only two games in winning another tennis sectional title Saturday, in the process lifting the Tigers to their second team championship in coach Melissa Welch's 14 seasons. Urbana won a tiebreaker with Bradley-Bourbonnais because it had a sectional champion (Marjanovic).
URBANA – Katarina Marjanovic's 2008 tennis season went so well that logic would suggest the senior follow that old common-sense axiom: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Marjanovic, The News-Gazette's reigning two-time Area Player of the Year, is back for what figures to be another sterling season. The key to her improvement as a junior involves maintaining her on-court focus and steady approach.
Mahomet-Seymour's Nick Guth and Centennial's Allison Hansen
Centennial, Champaign Central seniors stay alive in IHSA state tennis singles
CHAMPAIGN – The tennis gods did Champaign-area tennis players no favors in the draw at today's state tournament.
In fact, it's hard to determine which player got handed the hardest path; they're all facing uphill climbs, or so it seems.