Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Meet the 2023 Girls Tennis Team

An in depth account of the ins & outs of the Lady Raptors as they navigate the 2A tennis scene.
The JV and Varsity make up a full squad of 24 athletes.
We might as well have been an ad as we sweat together in the highly popular Lululemon Ebb to Street tank top 😉

On any given afternoon at 3:45 sharp you might witness a herd of high school girls in matching Lululemon taking over the school’s tennis courts. This is the 2023 AMHS Girls Tennis Team, dominators of 2A and the runaway most aesthetic sports team at Magnet. The varsity team consists of some classic returning players: Sophia Easterbrook (10), Chloe Trowman (11), Addie Utsey (12), Wren Allen (12), and me, Cliffie Manuel, as well as many great new additions (some of whom were on JV last year): Emma Miars (9), Victoria Carabus (9), Emerson Sprout (9), Lea Bagg (10), Susannah Spath (11), Louisa Garrett (11), and Lila Garrett (11). We are also joined by a new head coach, Coach Eric, and new JV coach, Coach Glenn.  Both coaches have come ready with energy and have made the this year an exciting one. Armed with a mission to condition, Coach Eric has emphasized stretching, warmups, and running at the beginning of every practice. He has also brought a fresh perspective on both tennis techniques and team dynamics that the program has undoubtedly benefitted from.

Along with two new coaches, the program is thriving with the JV team returning after its debut last year.  With 12 players the squad rivals Varsity and the two teams are nearly one as we practice together and support each other at matches.  While JV has yet to officially begin their season, Varsity kicked off ours at home on Tuesday, August 22 facing the Iron Horses of Phillip Simmons. The team was pumped and ready to hit the courts and after a slight of delay due to the scorching heat, the match was off to the races. The team played great and got a couple wins but unfortunately we lost.  However, the team was not discouraged and was ready to face both Oceanside and Pinewood Prep back to back on September 5 and 6th. After a humbling defeat to Oceanside, the team bounced back on Wednesday and (hold onto your socks- this might blow them off) didn’t lose a single match to Pinewood.

Secret sister never fails to get us hype.

But what’s a match day like? It begins being greeted by a surprise secret sister gift in your first block class. A couple fan favorites are Chick-fil-a chicken minis and Starbuck’s lattes, but the gifts vary on preferences of the receiver. Who gives to who is randomized and remains that way for the rest of the season. However, some people, shoutout to Emerson and myself, forgot that our names came on orders so the cats out of the bag for our secret sisters (sorry about that Addie and Susannah).  But the show goes on and secret sister will remain a constant light in our lives throughout the season. After slowly munching on our gifts during the school day, 3:30 arrives and we gladly rush to the gym bathrooms to suit up for the best part of the day.  Warm up begins between 3:45-4 with the occasional guest. Like on Tuesday when Remy the Raptor came to hype us up and give us an inspiring pep talk as we faced Oceanside.  And the day after when Addie, Wren, and I hitchhiked to the courts on the athletic department’s golf-cart/tractor. Addie looks back fondly and claims it was the “most fun ride of my life, best moment of the season, big thanks to Coach Kanuer”.  After catching up with the team and fans for a bit after warming up, we line up, introduce ourselves, shake hands, and hit the courts. The singles players take up the 5 courts and once a court frees up the doubles head on out there followed by the occasional exhibition match.  While watching, the rest of the team cheers them on and fuels up on Gatorade, Cheez-its, and Welches fruit snacks if we’re lucky. The snack spread is crucial to our gameplay, after all, a team that breaks bread together, wins together.

This deep bond is a keystone of AMHS Girls Tennis Lady Raptors, but perhaps even more essential is @amhsgtennis. This title comes from the incredibly active Instagram, a legacy that began two years ago with class of 2022 tennis alumni Anne Young, Lucy Manuel, and Francis Drake. With the in depth and creative content produced by last year’s seniors, especially Mary Blake Hand and Laura Robertson, this task was daunting at first for Addie, Wren, Chloe, and me.  But once underway, it’s safe to say we have found our groove and are producing content that outsider Addie Hanna (12) describes as “chaotic but brightens my day without fail.” The team’s Instagram is definitely at the heart of our team bond, one so strong that when asked what she thought of the team Chloe Carlsten(12) expressed “I wish I played tennis, it seems like a close knit community. ” But wait, the fans don’t stop there as Street Wilson(11) and Evie Waldorf(11) have both been quoted saying “We long to one day be a part of something as great as the Magnet girls tennis team. ”

Our best friends show their support

But despite its many supporters, @amhsgtennis has a rival in the @raptorsvolleyball account. Who has more followers? We’ll concede that to the girls volleyball team, although our recent activity has gained us 14 followers in the past week. But who has more dedicated followers? Easily us. Holly Manning(12) checks the Instagram every morning for updates, she “lives and breathes @amhsgtennis. ” Can the volleyball team say the same of their fans? However, underneath the volleyball/tennis social media rivalry, there is support and both teams have acknowledged their appreciation of the other.  I even stopped by during a recent match against Berkeley (nice win ladies).  But our best friend is still our practice buddies, the AMHS football team. Chloe’s favorite thing about playing tennis, other than dominating at the top spot, is practicing next to football. In fact, she has memorized all of their warm up chants in a show of support. Additionally, Sophia urged me to include that she appreciates their kindness whenever they throw back lost tennis balls onto our courts, safe to say she’s a fan boys. 

If you’ve made it this far into the article, thank you and I urge you to attend our upcoming matches this week:

9/12 @ Summerville @4:30

9/14 @ Phillip Simmons @4:30

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    AddieSep 12, 2023 at 10:22 am

    WHAT an article 👏👏👏👏