When she was just 5-years-old, Emily Turner’s mom took her for tennis lessons and a passion was born.
“My mom started me on tennis,” the Starkville High senior said. “She played in high school so she is kind of my role model. Since then, tennis has become my outlet. I love competing and tennis is the way I compete. It is a constructive way to let out my frustration.”
Turner continued to hone her craft while living in Athens, Ga., then upon moving to Starkville in the 2nd grade she found a new teacher in Jerry Henderson, who coached her until just recently.
Now Turner gets her lessons from Yellowjackets coach Rob Fyke as well as Mississippi State University volunteer assistant coach Erin Bryce.
All of the hard work has certainly paid off. Since joining Starkville’s varsity tennis team in the 7th grade, Turner has been one of its top athletes. As a 9th grader, she made her way to the Class 6A State tournament in singles competition, then as a sophomore, she and her doubles partner Hannah Laird took home the Class 5A State title. The pair followed up their championship by finishing as runners up to the Class 5A State title their junior season.
“She has been our rock since I have been here,” Fyke said. “I can always count on her for a win and I can always count on her for leadership and I can always count on her to be a mentor for the young kids that are trying to learn the game.
“With her and Hannah Laird, we have had two rocks here. We have a handful of girls that can step up and fill the role, but none of them will truly fill the role exactly the same as Emily. She will be impossible to replace.”
To subscribe to the E-edition, please click here .