STEPHENS CITY -- Tennis has always been a big sport in Parker Gregg’s family and the Sherando junior has certainly kept the family tradition going.
Gregg put together a strong season this spring, which included leading the Warriors to a third-place finish in the Class 4 Northwestern District and a spot in the district individual singles tourney semifinals.
“I thought I played pretty well this season,” Gregg said. “I lost a couple matches that I shouldn’t have and that was kind of disappointing. But I feel like next year I can come back and go pretty far.”
Gregg said both his mother, Susan, and his grandmother played tennis as well as his older sister, Meredith. He said he was around the game at an early age and just enjoyed the sport.
He said his family lives near Stonebrook Club in Winchester and he and his mom play together a lot out there.
This season didn’t start out quite like Gregg wanted it to but he said he got better as the season went along. One of the highlights for him was defeating Fauquier’s No. 1 singles player Alan Trumbo the second time the two played. Trumbo had defeated Gregg in their first meeting of the season.
“Allen (Trumbo) is really good,” Gregg said. “I beat him so I was happy about that. That was the best tennis I played all season. He beat me 8-6 the first time and then the second time I beat him 8-6.”
Gregg, The Northern Virginia Daily’s 2019 Boys Tennis Player of the Year, also lost to Woodgrove’s No. 1 singles player early in the season, but won the second time they played.
Sherando coach Garland Williams said he was pleased with how much Gregg improved as the season went on, including his losses to Handley’s Nick Mueller and Millbrook’s Josh Dalton.
“Two guys that were really tough for him were (Mueller) and Dalton),” Williams said. “But each time he played those guys he got better. And that’s all you can ask from any of your athletes in whatever your sport is. You have a starting point and you’re progressing throughout the season.”
Gregg advanced to the Class 4 Northwestern District individual singles tournament semifinals, where he lost to Dalton, 6-2, 7-5.
Gregg and Sherando teammate Joe Venturato also advanced to the Class 4 Northwestern District individual doubles tournament semifinals. Gregg said that he was pleased with how they performed in doubles this season.
“I thought our doubles team was solid,” Gregg said. “Obviously, I played with Joe (Venturato) and Joe’s a solid doubles player. He’s really good at the net and we’re a real good doubles team. I think we have a lot to work on and I think we can do it. I think we can make it pretty far in the doubles tournament come next year.”
Gregg said he felt like his serve improved throughout the season and that helped him improve his game as the year went on.
This was the second season for Gregg playing at Sherando’s top spot and he said he’s enjoyed it.
“I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better just playing these kids that know how to hit the ball really hard and are really consistent,” Gregg said. “They’ve made me a better player overall.”
Gregg, who also plays golf for Sherando, said he wants to keep practicing a lot and keep improving.
This season he also helped lead the Warriors to a 9-9 record with a young squad.
Sherando finished third in the regular season. The Warriors beat James Wood in the district tournament quarterfinals and then came close to knocking off rival Millbrook. The Warriors lost four times in the regular season to Millbrook, 6-3 each time. In the district semifinals they lost 5-4 and came close to pulling off the upset.
Gregg said the two district tournament matches were the highlight of the season for the squad.
“When we beat James Wood we beat them in 30 minutes so that was nice,” Gregg said. “ Then against Millbrook we had a tough match and I had a tough singles match. I think I lost 3 and 3. But overall as a team we made it to doubles, it was 3-3. And it came down to one court and unfortunately we didn’t get it done.”
Gregg said the goal for the team next season is to make it to regionals and try to knock off Class 4 state champion and rival Handley.
“I feel like we’re just going to have to practice a lot in the offseason,” Gregg said. “If we want to compete with these Handley kids next year, we have to put in the time and play our best tennis.”