Four-year varsity tennis player player Jada Kranig is ranked at number one on this year’s top three fall athletes for the stellar season she had, leading the girls tennis team to an undefeated season, CVC title, and a division II playoff appearance.
As this year’s captain, Kranig finished out the season without losing a match in league, while also going 13-4 overall, and was ranked the team’s number two singles player.
Kranig also went undefeated as the number one player when called upon to fill that role.
Despite not being able to advance far in playoffs as a singles player, Kranig was able to make it into sections in super doubles with partner Kenzie Duncan.
Sophomore teammate Isabelle Sanders believes Kranig earned her position on this year’s top three list due to her ability to, as a captain, do more for the team than just be a great tennis player.
“I think Jada is one of the best captains for tennis, on top of just being really good at tennis,” Sanders said. “She’s always supporting the team and helping everyone do their best, which I think helped a lot of us perform really well and eventually go undefeated.”
According to Sanders, Kranig’s determination was something that some of the younger players were able to pick up on, and even learn from as they become veterans.
“She never gives up and her mind is always set on winning,” Sanders said. “Everyone can pick up on her energy and competitiveness and use it to help their own game, especially the younger people who are playing a varsity sport for the first time.”
Sanders believes Kranig’s attitude was a benefit to the team on and off of the tennis court and that the tennis program is in good hands going forward.
“Not even in just tennis,” Sanders said. “I think all around as an person she is just a leader in everything she does, especially as an athlete in every sport that she does. I just think it shows more on the court, and the lessons she has taught us and the way she has mentored us has really prepared us to continue being a dominant force in the CVC.”
The number two athlete for the top three this year is senior varsity water polo utility player Josh Keaton. Keaton had 40 goals, 12 assists and 24 steals to help lead the Tigers to a third place finish
in league. Varsity water polo coach Brad Molina believes that Keaton is an outstanding player.
“Very unselfish on offense, always looking to pass (although I wish he would shoot more),” Molina said. “He was our best defender one on one on the team. I would always give him the toughest player from the opposing team.”
Molina says that Keaton is a great leader.
“He’s an excellent leader by example,” Molina said. “Works hard in practice and that translate into the game. Great attitude out of the pool. Everybody likes Josh.”
According to Molina, Keaton played a vital role in making sections.
“Josh was the glue that kept our team solid, offensively and defensively,” Molina said. “Doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet but the coaches and players know this to be true.”
Keaton’s teammate and fellow senior, Kyle Gard, feels that Keaton was an all around asset to the team.
“Josh is a really reliable player for us,” Gard said. “He is a really good goal scorer, and he was our go-to guy.”
Rushing in at our number three spot on the fall top three athletes is senior running back Alex Evans.
Last year, Evans was stuck on the depth chart behind two all league running backs. This year, with both of the running backs in front of him graduated, Evans took full advantage of his opportunity.
Evans, one of the top running backs in the league, put the Tigers’ offense on his back this season, rushing for 1172 yards on 217 carries, good enough for an impressive 5.4 yards per carry, while also scoring eight touchdowns. Evans was also recognized as one of the team’s four captains.
Teammate Nick Gori thinks Evans really stepped up this season and was able to produce results even when other members of the offense couldn’t.
“He stepped up to the plate and did great even when the rest of our team and offense would sometimes struggle,” Gori said. “He pretty much carried the team and he really ended his awesome high school career on a high note.”
Evans was a force to be reckoned with on the defensive side of the ball as well, totaling 10 tackles on a small handful of defensive downs.