On a road trip that has lasted nearly all season, the Nation Ford Lady Falcons tennis team won’t be back home soon.
Due to foundation issues with the tennis courts at Nation Ford High, the Lady Falcons have played all of its home matches on the road. During the second half of the season, the team has played at Fort Mill High School.
Work to upgrade the foundation under the tennis courts at the school and to prevent further cracking on the courts started during the summer. Initially, it didn’t appear the work would interfere with the start of the girls’ tennis season.
After practicing on the courts, the team thought it had the all-clear, but that turned out to be a false hope. Later, Nation Ford Athletic Director Brian Turner thought the work would be done in time to salvage some of the team’s home schedule, but recently realized it won’t be possible, he said.
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The courts should be ready for the boys’ tennis season in the spring.
Turner said Fort Mill High has been gracious to let Nation Ford use the Jackets’ courts and the schedule has worked out for the most part in the second half of the season. So far, that there hasn’t been any conflicts between the teams’ schedules.
However, Turner said he would like to do something special for the team’s senior night on Oct. 9.
“We want to do something on our side (of town) so all the players won’t have Fort Mill in the background of their pictures,” he said.
Turner said he is in talks with the Springfield Homeowners Association to use that community’s courts for the senior night match against Northwestern.
Another potential conflict for Nation Ford is the 4A state playoffs. If the Lady Falcons finish in the top two in Region III, the team would have a home match. The team is battling for the second spot with Clover. If Nation Ford finishes third, the team will play on the road, so a home match wouldn’t be an issue in the first round.
The girls’ tennis playoffs start Oct. 22, according to the state High School League calender.