The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

May 9, 2013

Tennis stress relief for academic star Harmon

ENID, Okla. — Tyler Harmon’s biggest accomplishment at Chisholm this year may not have been finishing second at the regional at Tulsa Monday to qualify for No. 1 singles at the Class 4A state tennis to 0urnament today and Saturday.

Harmon, a freshman, was fifth in Algebra II and third in business/business math at the state Tournament of Champions scholastic meet earlier this year.

“That’s pretty remarkable,’’ said Chisholm scholastic coach Lindy LeGrant.

“Tennis is more of a stress relief from academics,’’ said Harmon, who is taking Honors Algebra II, Chemistry and AP English among other classes.

“The academic competitions are a lot more hard to focus on. It takes a lot more of your brain.’’

He hasn’t done badly on the tennis court either. He’s 17-2 after losing to top-seeded Zeke Clark of Riverfield Country Day School in the regional finals.

“I’m really excited about making state as a freshman,’’ he said. “I’ve worked really hard for it. That was my goal.’’

Harmon has played the Missouri Valley circuit over the summer and takes lessons from pros Jim Shaughnessy and Katya Meier at Oakwood Country Club.

“They really push me pretty hard,’’ he said.

He sees tennis as a mental game first.

“I would say the strength of my game is how I perceive the game ... the thought process as I go through points,’’ Harmon said. “I think it’s a lot more thinking than anything else.’’

He has learned competitiveness from both. He said he’s probably better at the academics. Math is his favorite subject, but he said that doesn’t relate to tennis.

“You want to perform well in anything you do,’’ he said. “I’m going to try to have as much fun as I can.’’

His goal is to make the state finals and maybe have another shot at Clark.

“I just hope I’m prepared,’’ he said. “I’m a little nervous. I don’t know how you couldn’t be.’’

Harmon said he was pleased with his record. His only disappointment was the rest of the team didn’t qualify.

“I’ve been hanging in there,’’ he said of the challenges of being a freshman at No. 1 singles. “I’m glad that I have another three years.’’

CHS coach Debbie Hodges calls Harmon “an incredible tennis player.’’

“Tyler is the kind of guy who sets goals for himself and then does whatever it takes to obtain them,’’ Hodges said. “I think he has an excellent chance to medal.’’

Oklahoma Bible Academy’s Adam Jantz will take a 14-5 record into the No. 2 singles. He was the runner-up at the regional at Tulsa’s LaFortune Park. He is a first-time qualifier.

“I think he’ll do real well,’’ said OBA coach Judy Glazier. “I think we can get him seeded. He’s an excellent athlete and he’ll get an opportunity to show what he can do.’’

The 4A singles begin at 9:15 a.m. today. The second round  starts at 2:30 p.m.

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