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Watson sisters help Golden Bears prepare for sectional

Shelbyville’s Alex, left, and Sam, right, Watson are leading the Golden Bears into sectional play today at home. The Golden Bears face Waldron in the opening round.

By KATRINA BRANSON - kbranson@shelbynews.com

Tennis, like other sports, can be a mental game. Once a player is are behind, getting back on track can be difficult. According to Shelbyville’s Sam Watson, though, the comeback feeling is one of the best things about the sport.

“My favorite thing about tennis is definitely the comeback feeling,” she explained. “When you’re down 1-5 in a set and you come back, it’s so rewarding.”

Another rewarding feeling for Sam, who plays No. 1 doubles for the Golden Bears, has come from playing alongside the best person she could hope for this season – her sister, Alex, a sophomore at SHS.

However, sisters will be sisters.

“Playing alongside Alex has been a little rough at times just because you just want to yell sometimes,” Sam said. “But I wouldn’t have wanted to play with anyone else for my senior season.”

Alex also admits it can be rough. But then again, no one knows her better than her own sister.

“It is sometimes rough,” she said. “When one of us doesn’t play very well or gets mad you can’t just go home and forget about everything. It’s also really nice, because I can trust her, and we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”

Their favorite moment of the season was going undefeated (3-0) in the Shelbyville invitational earlier in the season – boosting their confidence for the rest of the season.

“We had a great day, and it gave us a spark for the rest of the season,” said Sam.

The sisters believe the season has gone better than expected.

“For us I think we have done pretty well,” said Alex. “There are a lot of competitive teams we play. As a team, I think we are doing good, and we’re pretty evenly distributed in singles and doubles.”

Sam has seen Alex grow over the course of the season.

“I think the season has been a lot better than we expected,” she said. “It was rough for everyone at first, but we’ve been playing together really well, and I think our team is pretty strong.”

Alex and Sam, along with the rest of the team and the county, has been preparing for the upcoming sectional, which begins today at 5 p.m. The Golden Bears will take on Waldron in the first match.

The second match will be played Thursday at 5 p.m. with Morristown taking on Southwestern – the winner advancing to the championship.

The third match, which is also Thursday, will be between Triton Central and the winner of the Waldron-Shelbyville match. The championship match is set for Friday at 5 p.m.

Alex and Sam hope to see their team go far in the sectional.

“I definitely think our goals for the rest of the season would be to win the sectional,” said Sam. “We lost to Triton Central in three sets in the season, so if we have to face them again I definitely think we can compete better now.

“We want to continue to get better and to go far in sectionals and hopefully advance to regionals,” added Alex.

Doing so will be no easy task. Although Waldron is a young team, the Mohawks have proved over the course of the season what they’re capable with three wins despite low numbers. Morristown has also been tough competition over the season and has junior Kenzie Logan, who won the No. 1 sinlges title at the Mid-Hoosier Conference meet over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Southwestern has shown it can win (MHC Champions). Triton Central has to as the Tigers are currently 12-3 and won the Shelby County Tournament.

Advancing to the regional will require a strong week of tennis, but the Watson sisters are excited to see what the Golden Bears can accomplish. 

Meanwhile, they offered some meaningful advice to younger players in the program.

“Definitely do not get down on yourself,” said Alex. “Tennis is a very mental game and if you stay confident, you can play better than you ever thought you could.”

“Always, always have a positive attitude,” added Sam. “Never give up. The second you get down on yourself in tennis is the second you lose.”

Katrina Branson is a Sports writer for The Shelbyville News. Follow Katrina on Twitter @k_b527.