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Swindoll, Shinall sign with Meridian CC

Oxford tennis players Will Swindoll and Callan Shinall secured their futures Wednesday by signing scholarships with Meridian Community College.

The rising seniors have been key players in the Chargers’ recent run of dominance. Swindoll is a five-time state doubles champion while Shinall has won two individual state titles and one in doubles for Oxford, which has won eight straight state team championships.

“They’re two of the good ones that we’ve produced,” Oxford coach Louis Nash said.

Shinall said playing tennis at the next level is something he’s envisioned for the past two years. To have that finally become a reality was a relief.

“It feels good to get it out of the way,” Shinall said. “I love playing the game.”

For Swindoll, the decision to pursue college tennis wasn’t made until talking things over with his family during Christmas break. Swindoll plays on the Chargers’ basketball team and also drew some interest from college football coaches after starting at right tackle the last two seasons for Oxford, but tennis, Swindoll said, has always been his first love.

“I’ve grown up playing tennis,” Swindoll said. “It’s always been a dream of mine I guess just to play a sport, and I just felt like tennis was the way to go. … I grew up playing tennis before I played football, so it’s kind of like a tennis player playing offensive line. It’s kind of the opposite way around.”

Swindoll’s mother, Debbie, is the head tennis coach at Lafayette High and played collegiately at Mississippi State. Once her son made his decision, she let Meridian coach Wanda McPhail know he was interested.

“For him, I think it’s a good life-long (decision),” Debbie said. “I think he’s got the potential to be really good. Good program. Good coach. … I’m excited for him just to see what he can do with it.”

Swindoll and Shinall will join a team at MCC that’s been consistently ranked among the top junior college programs in the country during McPhail’s tenure. Both will start their final high school season March 1 against Grenada.