Ca­toosa_walk­er_news The 2018 Walker County Ten­nis Play­ers of the Year

Walker County Messenger - - Sports - By Scott Herpst By Scott Herpst

Kather­ine Grace McEl­haney, bet­ter known to most in Walker County as “K.G.” en­joyed an out­stand­ing se­nior sea­son play­ing team sports.

In soft­ball, she hit a solid .302 for the Lady Tro­jans with four dou­bles, 21 RBIs and her first ca­reer home­run as she made the Ca­toosa-Walker Dream Team as an hon­or­able men­tion se­lec­tion. She also played a huge role as the team’s pri­mary catcher and helped Gor­don Lee win a third straight state cham­pi­onship.

On the bas­ket­ball court, she was a valu­able as­set on both ends of the floor and ex­celled at re­bound­ing and on the de­fen­sive end to help the Navyand-White get to the Sweet 16 round of the Class 1A pub­lic school state play­offs.

But in the spring, she turned her at­ten­tion to ten­nis and closed out her se­nior year with a solid 6-3 record at No. 2 sin­gles to share up Walker County Girls’ Ten­nis Player of the Year hon­ors with LaFayette’s Sky­lar Ox­ford.

“I think it’s re­ally cool (to share the award),” McEl­haney said. “Ten­nis is just a re­ally fun sport that I en­joy. It’s re­ally cool to be given this award, es­pe­cially in my se­nior year. I beat the peo­ple I should have beaten and I lost to those who are ob­vi­ously bet­ter, but that’s just how it hap­pened. I re­ally en­joyed the sea­son it was a lot of fun.”

“I just love how ten­nis is very

LaFayette’s Sky­lar “S.J.” Ox­ford spent most of her life ei­ther on the side­lines as a cheer­leader or on the bas­ket­ball court and it’s bas­ket­ball where her fu­ture lies as the se­nior re­cently signed a let­ter of in­tent to play for the nearby Berry Col­lege Vik­ings.

But as a fresh­man four years ago, Ox­ford grabbed a racket, joined the Lady Ram­blers’ ten­nis team and found some­thing she can en­joy for life.

Ox­ford played both sin­gles and dou­bles for LaFayette, ac­cu­mu­lat­ing a 28-12 ca­reer record in her matches and was a part of state tour­na­ment teams as a fresh­man and a sopho­more. LaFayette com­plied a 23-10 team record in those two sea­sons.

Af­ter a 9-3 mark at No. 1 dou­bles as a ju­nior, Ox­ford moved into the No. 1 sin­gles spot this past sea­son and fin­ished with a 7-5 mark against some of the best play­ers the north­west Ge­or­gia area had to of­fer.

And to­day, she joins Gor­don Lee se­nior Kather­ine Grace McEl­haney as the Walker County Girls’ Ten­nis Player of the Year for 2018.

“I think it’s awe­some,” she beamed. “I was just su­per ex­cited when I found out be­cause I love ten­nis a lot. I just started play­ing ten­nis my fresh­man year, so to be the county Player of the Year my se­nior year is a big ac­com­plish­ment for me.”

She termed her se­nior sea­son a suc­cess, even though she said it was dif­fer­ent play­ing sin­gles as op­posed to

com­pet­i­tive, but not as com­pet­i­tive as the other sports that I play,” she added. “It was just a time for me to kind of re­lax, have a lit­tle fun and just do what I en­joy do­ing.”

The weather should be just fine for McEl­haney to play ten­nis over the next cou­ple of years as she plans to tem­po­rar­ily put col­lege on hold and go to work in the hap­pi­est place on earth - Walt Dis­ney World.

“I’ll still play ten­nis a lit­tle bit here and there,” she said.

Gd Gor­don L Lee’s ’Kh Kather­ine iG Grace McEl­haney M Elh (left) (l f) and dLF LaFayette’s ’ Sky­lar Sk lOfd Ox­ford are the h 2018 Girls’ Gi l ’T Ten­nis i Co-Play­ers of the Year for Walker County. (Photo by Scott Herpst)

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