The praise for Parker LaSure during his signing ceremony Tuesday was that he is a fighter and never gives up on a match.
Greenbrier High School tennis coach Brittany Jackson told the story of when her No. 1 singles player fought leg cramps to win a match against Evans earlier in the year. Mark Rearden, LaSure's coach at Petersburg Racquet Club, said he expects LaSure will be team captain before he leaves North Georgia College and State, where he will play on scholarship next year.
"I don't think there's any doubt whatsoever, just because of who he is," Rearden said.
LaSure was the captain of this year's Wolfpack team, which traveled deeper into the playoffs than any team LaSure had been part of before. Greenbrier was competing in Class AAAAA for the first time and started the season with contributing players who had never played tennis before.
The Wolfpack reached the state quarterfinals before falling to Valdosta.
"It was really fun this year, because we did so well," LaSure said. "When you're winning, it's fun, obviously."
LaSure said playing in college became his goal once he reached high school. Those he knew who had gone on to play college tennis told him how much they enjoyed playing against better competition and playing as a team rather than in individual tournaments.
"Working with the team is fun," LaSure said. "You don't have to just do it for yourself. It will make you play harder playing for a team, wanting to win for them."
LaSure said he had also talked to Presbyterian College and Lenoir-Rhyne. Presbyterian would have been closer, but LaSure said North Georgia proved the better fit.
He liked its proximity to the mountains and outdoor activities. Coaches told him he would fit immediately at No. 4 or No. 5 singles.
"I just kind of was looking to see what college best fit me," LaSure said. "The coach is a good coach, they have a good academic program and they have a great team up there. It fits everything I want."
LaSure said his goals are just to "move up the ladder" and help the Saints finish higher in the Peach Belt Conference each year. Rearden doesn't think it will take long for his pupil to take on a leadership role.
He said LaSure interacts with everyone at Petersburg, from the top players down to the younger beginners.
And Rearden said when LaSure steps on the court, no one works harder.
"I've always just kind of played my heart out," LaSure said. "You don't ever just want to give up on a match. It's not necessarily about winning, but it's about pride on the court, too."
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