UNION – Kelly Jenkins, Union County High School’s tennis coach, has been named to the coaching staff of the 2012 North-South All Star games.
Jenkins was recommended by North Head Coach Linda Sandusky and a vote at the High School Tennis Association on Wednesday made it official.
“This is just a really big honor,” said Jenkins. “I was able to go down with Lauren Harrison last year when she competed as a senior and I saw a lot of great tennis matches. It’ll be a privilege to be able to coach some of the best players in the state.”
Under Jenkins’ direction the Union County tennis team has won three consecutive Region III-AAA championships (2009-11) and finished this year’s conference play with an 8-2 record for second place. Jenkins is currently preparing her Yellow Jackets for post-season where she expects them to do well.
“We have some girls that are playing their best tennis right now,” she said. “If we can put together a strong performance from top to bottom, I think we have a good chance in the playoffs.”
As assistant coach of the North team, Jenkins will assist in the selecting of athletes to compete in the All Star games. Teams will be announced on Oct. 29 and the 2012 North-South All Star Game will be played Nov. 17 at the Kroc Tennis Center in Greenville.
“From what I’ve seen of the nominations this year we’re going to have a really strong squad,” said Jenkins. “Most of the girls probably have their own personal coaches and play in tournaments year round.”
Jenkins has found success through communication and understanding her players’ individual needs.
“Tennis is such a mental game so really understanding each player and what she needs helps a lot,” she said.
Jenkins’ coaching style has proven effective and she has clearly made an impact on the Union County tennis program.
Union County Athletic Director Will Hickson said Jenkins genuinely cares about the athletes she works with and that in return, her pupils admire and respect her.
“She’s a heck of a coach,” said Hickson. “She knows how to get the most out of each girl on her team. I’m just really glad she has the opportunity to coach in the North-South Game. She deserves it and it’s an honor for Union County to have her represent us.”