Marlins swing into action

Anastasia Miller, an eighth grader, will serve as captain for the Destin Marlin girls tennis team.

Things are looking up for the Destin Marlin middle school tennis teams.

“It’s going to be a good season,” said Destin coach Ronda Pridgen. “It’s looking good all the way around.”

The teams have been on the practice courts for the last couple of weeks in preparation for their season that swings into action April 1 with a 4 p.m. match with the Pryor Pirates at Choctaw High School in Fort Walton Beach.

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The Marlins have several players returning.

“The girls are going to be strong,” Pridgen said.

The Lady Marlins have five players back from last year’s County Championship team, that finished with a 7-2 record.

Those returning are eighth grader Anastasia Miller, along with seventh graders Lily Stiles, Sophie Cohen, Ainsley Barousse and Madison Pridgen.

“We’ve got a lot returning … which is good for the new ones to see,” she said.

Others filling out the girls roster include seventh grader Anna Haisten Williams, sixth grader Sophie Berry, and fifth graders Madison Clark and Madison Baker.

“They are fired up about tennis,” Pridgen said.

She explained that not only are they putting in time at practice, but they are playing on their own time as well.

Experience is going to be key to the success of the Marlins.

Because of their experience it should “help them to keep cool during the tense times,” Pridgen said.

And just as the girls are shaping up for a good season, the same is true for the boys.

“They are looking well,” she said.

“They have a good attitude. They bring each other up to make themselves a good team.”

The boys have four back from last years team that finished up third in the county.

On the roster again are eighth grader Wesley Shackelford, seventh graders Matthew Wilson and Beck Holahan, and sixth grader Brody Miller.

New to the lineup is eighth grader Blake Whitson, and fifth graders Tyler Suchevits, Ethan Eubanks and Eason Ingram.

Serving as captains for the year is Miller for the girls and Shackleford for the boys.

“I think they are going to lead the teams real well,” Pridgen said.

The Marlins first home match, played at Sandpiper Cove, will be 4 p.m. April 6 against Shoal River of Crestview.



Lily Stiles

Sophie Cohen

Anna Haisten Williams

Ainsley Barousse

Anastasia Miller

Madison Pridgen

Madison Clark

Madison Baker

Sophie Berry


Wesley Shackelford

Matthew Wilson

Beck Holahan

Brody Miller

Tyler Suchevits

Ethan Eubanks

Eason Ingram

Blake Whitson