PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– The Rutherford girls tennis team had a remarkable 2019 season, despite setbacks. The Lady Rams won the county, districts and competed at state.
They did so without home courts to practice on. Hurricane Michael destroyed their previous courts that already needed an upgrade. The team was forced to commute for all practices and games.
This week is the first week the FHSAA allows tennis teams to practice. It was also the first week Rutherford tennis teams were told they could step on brand new home courts.
“You don’t have to worry about traveling were just right in our back yard we can just play the sport that we love to play,” senior Danielle Bansagi said.
Rutherford tennis head coach Dashoan Olds said when Hurricane Michael destroyed Superintendent Bill Husfelt told all Bay County schools he wanted to get their courts back to competitive standards.
“We even gained one court from it so we’re just very happy lights will be coming soon so our matches can be played a little later so the children won’t have to miss school to play tennis,” Olds said.
With the high quality courts the team is even more confident they will make another run at state this season.
“I think it really shows other teams that we’re ready were a forced to be reckoned with this year we’re contenders,” senior Ariane Cortes said.
Both the girls and boys teams will hold season home openers next month. For many, it will be their first time to compete on home courts.
“It’s going to be fun because then all of our supporters will come out and our family will come out,” sophomore Isabel Ceydeli said.