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SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 2007
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Diabetes can’t keep Smith off the court
Austin senior busy winning at Jubilee

By Ashley Hargrove
sports@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

Kyle Smith is certainly no stranger when it comes to overcoming obstacles, both on and off the tennis court.

As a youngster, the rising senior at Austin High was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, but he says he doesn’t let it slow him down.

“Playing tennis helps a lot,” Smith said.

“It’s good for me to get the exercise, and it helps keeps me active.”

Smith said he can usually tell if something is wrong by the way he is playing.

“If I start playing bad, then I know something is wrong,” Smith said.

“I just have to try and keep it under control as best I
can.”

Although this is Smith’s first year competing in the annual Jubilee Tennis Tournament, he’s making quite a name for himself at the tournament at the Point Mallard tennis complex.

He played two doubles and two singles matches Saturday and picked up a win in all four matches.

“Every match has been tough,” Smith said. “Even though the score might not say it, it has been tough. The heat was a bit of a factor this morning, but after playing three matches it doesn’t affect me. I’m already tired.”

Tournament chairwoman Rhonda Wagner said Smith’s outgoing personality says a lot about the kind of person he is.

“He is a very respected young man in the tennis community,” Wagner said.

“He is never a bad sport, and to me that really means a lot. Kyle is a smart tennis player, and he’s got a lot going for him.”

The Smith family happens to be no stranger to the sport.

Kyle’s brother Nathan was a member of the Austin High tennis team and went on to play at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Smith said he would like to play there one day, too.

“I hope to get my game improved so that I can get a scholarship to play there,” Smith said. “I’ve got a year to improve so I’m going to give it my best shot.”

With a little rest and relaxation, Smith says, he will be ready to go for his three matches Sunday.

“I feel pretty confident going into tomorrow’s matches,” Smith said.

“I’ve been playing pretty well. I’m going to try and stay consistent and keep my guy moving around. I definitely need the sleep after today.”

Smith, who played No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles with Alex Worley at Austin this past year, encourages anyone who has juvenile diabetes to follow his dreams and to do what he loves.

“It’s not something to be ashamed about,” Smith said. “Sometimes, it’s good to know because you can do something about it. Whatever you want to do, you should be able to do it.”

Jubilee tennis

The eight annual Decatur Jubilee Tennis Tournament completed its third day of competition at Point Mallard Park on Saturday.

  • Steve Motsinger and Christian McMeans won the Men’s 3.0 doubles in the best 2-of-3 round-robin play defeating Ted Thompson and Mike Stockton 7-6, 6-1.

  • Pam Skidmore and Tina Smith won the Women’s 4.0 doubles defeating Regina Light and Kim Starkey 6-4, 6-0.
  • The tournament continues at 9 a.m. Sunday with the final match scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

    Ashley Hargrove

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