The undefeated South Tattnall Middle School (STMS) Lady Warrior Tennis team is seeking out the Region championship trophy for the third year in a row. The Lady Warriors are the reigning champions for the 2020 Fall and 2021 Spring seasons.
Tennis was reinstated as a region sport for the 2019 spring season, and the STMS Lady Warriors dominated the region and earned the region championship that year as well. Due to COVID school closures, the spring 2020 season ended before the region championship could be played; however, the STMS Lady Warriors were undefeated that season and favored to be named region champions again.
The STMS team was honored for their hard work at the October 24 Tattnall County Board of Education (BOE) meeting. STMS Principal David Tucker spoke highly of this team, as well as Head Coach Kristin Barratta.
“Coach Barratta does a wonderful job… we are outrageously appreciative of her hard work,” Principal Tucker said. “Nick Saban has always said that if you pay attention to the details, good things happen. There is a magic in doing the regular, plain Jane things right. That is an example of what is done here with this team. This is a celebration of this team and of Coach Barratta.”
In addition to coaching tennis, Barratta is the coach for STMS soccer and softball and is the STMS Athletic Director. She also coordinates the concession stands for all sports. Barratta played tennis all her life, even advancing to play at the collegiate level.
“Tennis is a sport that I hold very near and dear to my heart,” Barratta said. “It really is an honor to coach these young ladies — to coach them the correct way. Tennis is not a revenue sport and can often fall to the wayside, but I want these girls to know this sport is important. I want them to learn the correct way, and I would like to see them continue playing and maybe even competing at a college somewhere.”
Barratta recognized each of the players individually. Those players who are now enrolled at Tattnall County High School are: Molly Thompson, Jency Thompson (2021 STMS Athlete of the Year), Dixie Waters, DeLaney DeHart, and Madison Page. Those who are in seventh and eighth grade this year at STMS are: Della Quarles, McKenley Haskins, Abigail Barratta, Cali DeLoach, Sophia Dutton, Gloria Velez-Tahan, and Lily Oglesbee.
“All of these girls have worked really hard. We were able to win the championship two years in a row, and we are hopeful to do that again this year. We are undefeated so far in our season, so we hope we continue that and move into the playoffs,” Coach Barratta said. “I am very proud of each and every one of them. Not only do they come to practice, but several of them take individual lessons with TCHS Coach McArthur on the weekends.”
Barratta was assisted by Coach Tim Stewart during the 2020 Fall and 2021 Spring seasons, and Coach Brooke Thompson is assisting this fall.