After long break, boys set to play for title
District tennis champ and state title hopeful, Jackson's Mitch Williamson, will play for the first time in nearly seven months today
Jackson's Mitch Williamson is one of several players bracing for this year's state tourney in Richland that starts on Friday, almost seven months to the day that Williamson played his last high school match.
The Timberwolves singles player defeated Stanwood's Gergo Muller 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 to win the district championship and earn a state berth on Oct. 26.
"The biggest challenge is just being in a competitive mode, a competitive spirit, coming back from a long time," said Jackson boys tennis coach David Hutt. "That's the No. 1 challenge."
Once May starts, Williamson is allowed to work with Hutt again. Up until that point, athletes are on their own to practice or play. Williamson plays year-round in club and United States Tennis Association tournaments.
"Some kids will come in to state better than what they were in the fall," Hutt said. "We'll see if he's ready."
It's the third trip to state for the Jackson senior, who placed fifth last year. Hutt said the experience of having been to the tournament before is a huge advantage for Williamson. According to Hutt, he develops a familiarity with the format of the tournament -- and its players.
"I think it's a huge benefit to have experience," Hutt said. "They will do well. Experience helps an awful lot. Just with the comfort level of playing these guys. In that singles bracket, most every single one of those guys have played each other before (at USTA tournaments). They all know each other. The players probably could predict the bracket and be 80 percent right."
Hutt hopes Williamson will be able to have some success at this weekend's tournament. But he hopes more than anything that Williamson just enjoys his final state tournament.
"I'd like to see him win a couple matches and have some fun," Hutt said. "If he goes farther than that it's just icing on the cake."
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