Jacksonville High School's Frances White Tennis Complex will be hosting the District 16-4A Tournament beginning today and wrapping up with the championship matches Saturday morning.
The tourney will determine the circuit's representatives into the upcoming regional championship.
And while Jacksonville head tennis coach David Hanna is optimistic towards his team's chances of having success, he will also be coping with the emotions of seeing the end of senior Ellie Day's storied Tribe tennis career come to a close.
Day is the last of five Day children that have played for Hanna, so regardless of the results Ellie Day produces in the tournament, Hanna will probably be leaving the courts Saturday with a bit of a lump in his throat, and rightfully so.
“Ellie is the last of the five Day siblings that have played for me,” Hanna stated as he monitored practice on Wednesday afternoon. “Ellie has had a great career. As a freshman she finished second in singles and went on to regionals, as a sophomore Ellie was first in mixed doubles and, again, went to regionals and last year she earned the singles titles, and represented Jacksonville in the regional tournament. So, yes, I will be sad to see her leave.”
Ellie Day has followed Addison, Robby, Katy and Mercer Day and though she is the youngest of the Day bunch, she certainly has left her own mark on Tribe tennis; a mark that want easily fade.
“I know that it is important to Ellie to try to repeat as distinct singles champion and to close out her career at Jacksonville with a bang,” Hanna said. “IF she repeats as district champion, she will equal Mercer's accomplishments.”
Mercer Day earned regional berths in each of his four seasons as a member of the Tribe tennis team, including nabbing district singles championships in each of his final-three seasons.