By Sara Lingo, MHS Student Reporter
Ever since Colton Williamson first held a tennis racket in his hands at the age of three, he has proven that he has a talent on the courts. Williamson quickly fell in love with the sport and has trained hard to stay at the top. Williamson, now a sophomore first singles player on Milford High School’s varsity boys’ tennis team, has been a key force as the team has shown great promise this year. After winning the first five matches of this season, the Bucs are currently 8-1 overall.
Although the Bucs’ lost their only match, 4-1, to Caesar Rodney on April 10, Williamson remained undefeated as he out-dueled CR’s top player and reigning Southern Division Conference Champion, Nikola Sijan, 7-5, 6-7, (5-7) 10-7.
“I felt pretty relieved after my match with Nikola because there was a lot of pressure on both of us since our previous matches have always been back and forth,” commented Williamson on his close win. “It was really tough closing out the match because I did get a little nervous, and Nikola is a very good player who does not give up.”
Earlier in the season, Williamson won the first five of his matches in dominating performances, only allowing opponents to win just a total of seven sets. Last year, Williamson not only qualified for states as a freshman, but he also made it all the way to the quarterfinals. After losing in the quarterfinals at the State Meet last year, Williamson has set two main goals to win both conferences and states. He plans on increasing his difficulty in his practices while making sure to steer clear of bad habits. Williamson also says that he is going to take each match that he plays seriously so he can sharpen his skills.
All of his hard work over the past few years has landed Williamson at the National Tennis Championships twice. He was a member on a 14-under junior team which qualified for Nationals in 2011, taking place in Surprise, Arizona. One year later, Williamson played on an advanced 18-under team in 2012, which also qualified for the Nationals competition, this time in South Carolina.
“I would encourage people to play tennis because it is a really fun sport that lets you meet a lot of people and is really satisfying when you get good at it,” said Williamson.
Rexx Williamson, Colton’s father and tennis coach of over 10 years, has been helping to coach his son as well as other interested kids at an indoor tennis center at Wesley College in Dover. Mr. Williamson, a tennis player himself, says that the sport is very demanding and takes a lot of focus on technique as well as all of the physical aspects. He commented that Colton has improved significantly throughout the years and has even developed a great system mentally where he is able to realize the weaknesses in his opponents and adapt his game to his advantage.
“Tennis mirrors obstacles in real life,” Mr. Williamson explained. “Every point you fight for is like a challenge in life. Every player you face is like a challenge in life. You have to be determined in both.”