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Lafayette and Oxford High tennis picks up MTA honors

The 2016 high school tennis season concluded nearly five months ago, but there are still some accolades being handed out and Lafayette High school was on the list.

The Mississippi Tennis Association announced its 2016 award winners on Tuesday and the Commodores and Oxford both had members receive accolades

Head coach Debbie Swindoll was named the Coach of the Year while seventh-grader Celie Rayburn of Oxford High was selected for the Junior Tennis Team (JTT) Sportsmanship Award.

The Commodores made it all the way to the MHSAA Class 4A North Finals of the team competition and had Allie Bowen finish as a runner-up in the girls 4A state championship match.

“It starts from really the county schools to the parks commission to the city of Oxford,” Swindoll said when giving credit for the honors. “It’s a culmination and our team had a really good year this year. … I think it’s basically from getting the state tournament here and everything the Oxford community has to give.”

In order to be considered for the award, the person must be nominated by a player or peer. Swindoll is not sure who in the tennis community decided to put her name in the proverbial hat.

“It definitely caught me off guard,” Swindoll said.

Along with the individual awards, the John Leslie Tennis Courts received the distinction of hosting the Junior Tournament of the year, which was the MS Sweet 16 State Closed Championships at Leslie Courts and FNC Park.

The winners will be honored at a banquet which will be held at the Jackson Country Club on Jan. 14, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.

You can view the entire list of winners here