Being a student athlete is a constant juggling act between sports and schoolwork. Community School sophomore tennis player Emily Touma has found that — while tough — it is possible to find success at both.
“It’s very difficult,” the straight-A student said of the balance. “A lot of nights you’ll have practice or a match and then have like six hours of homework. It can be difficult.”
“She’s a very bright kid but because of all the homework, she doesn’t play as much tennis as she would like,” CSN head coach Joy Fredrick said. “But I think because of that she makes the most of her time when she is out there and works harder.”
That hard work showed in the 1A-District 10 championships on Tuesday. After the Seahawks’ No. 1 individual Nicole Drab fell in the opening round, Touma, the team’s No. 2 rallied in her match against Canterbury School’s Salonge Ganthier to win 6-4, 6-4.
“There was a lot of pressure going in,” Touma said. “(Drab losing) did add some pressure but I work better under pressure.”
She then helped seal the district title for her team with a No. 2 doubles win over Seacrest. Touma and partner Katy Wells went undefeated as a pair in their district this season.
“We complement each other and we understand each other out there, so we play very well,” Touma said.
“That isn’t an easy task,” Frederick said of the wins. “She played some really, really great tennis.”
Her coach said one of the keys to Touma’s success is her ability to adapt to the flow of the match as it is happening.
“The thing about her is that she never gives up,” Frederick said. “She can stay in when the points go long but she can also be aggressive when she needs to be. She has two styles of play that intermingle.”
Touma’s ability to get stronger as the season wears on could be essential when the Seahawks move on to the regional playoffs starting today. CSN will take on St. Stephens at the Vineyards at 3 p.m.
“She just gets better the longer she plays so I’m looking forward to seeing her in regionals,” Frederick said.
Danielle Avery, Naples track — Took third in the 800-meters at Florida Relays with a school record time of 2:12.84, also the third-fastest time in the state this season.
Shannon Etten, Barron Collier tennis — Won titles at No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles to lead Cougars to fourth straight district title.
Lauren Scherer, Naples lacrosse — Tallied 12 goals and two assists in two victories last week.
Taylor Scott, Golden Gate tennis — Won the No. 2 singles title as Titans finished runner-up at district to advance to regionals for the first time.