Darlington High School girl’s tennis primed to make another region title run
By Will Isgett, Contributing Writer
The Darlington High School girl’s tennis team is primed to make another run at the region 6 3-A title, but this time it will be with a new coach.
Cameron Bridgeman has taken over for Spencer Tyner, who left the program to spend more time with his family, and she is ready to help continue the strong tradition of the Lady Falcon tennis program.
Bridgeman, a graduate of West Florence High School and Francis Marion University, was more than willing to take on the challenge.
“I definitely have big shoes to fill,” Bridgeman said. “I’ve enjoyed it so far and we’ve got such great talent here.”
Last season the Lady Falcons finished an undefeated regular season before losing in the Class AAA playoffs to state power Hilton Head High School.
Bridgeman, who teaches in the Darlington County School District, said that she and Tyner have been friends for a while and when the opportunity to coach the team came about she jumped on it.
With the number one singles player returning along with several other key players Bridgeman said that although the team is young they would be very competitive.
“We have a pretty young team with only one senior,” Bridgeman said. “They’re such a good group of girls, that hustle and work hard.”
Recently the girls played in the Florence Tennis Association Tournament at the Florence Tennis Center. The tournament pits some of the best teams from South Carolina and North Carolina.
Although the girls didn’t win any matches, Bridgeman said her team could build off of the losses.
“It will help us in the long run,” Bridgeman said. “We played very good teams which will prepare us for the upcoming season.”
Bridgeman is no stranger to the tennis world. She has been playing since the age of four and her grandfather Bobby Bridgeman coached her she said.
She played on the USTA circuit and was ranked in the top 20 in the state in as a youth.
In the seventh grade she made the varsity tennis team at West Florence.
“The coach was kinda of unsure when I came out in the seventh grade to play,” Bridgeman said. “But I ended up beating the number two singles player in match play.”
That propelled her as one of the top five singles players her entire high school career.
Bridgeman said her expectations for the season are simple.
“Go out there work hard, play hard and win,” Bridgeman said.
And if that is the case there’s no telling how far the Lady Falcons will be able to advance this season.
Darlington, Hartsville and Manning are the only three schools that field girl’s tennis teams in region 6 3-A.
The Lady Falcons play at the Bill Cain Tennis Center at the corner of Liberty and Orange Streets and will begin its region play on September 15th at Manning.