By day, Scott Reynolds teaches people how to buy weapons systems worth hundreds of millions of dollars at the Defense Acquisition University at Fort Belvoir. So coaching his daughter, Laura, a tennis player at West Potomac High School, should be a snap, right?
“It hasn’t been that bad, because he hasn’t worked with me that much,” Laura said, laughing. “Sometimes we have a difference of opinion about whether I need to work on something or not. If my dad says something too many times, it’ll get on my nerves. I’ll be like, ‘dad, I know.’”
But Laura Reynolds hasn’t needed a lot of coaching in her dad’s first season managing the team. She’s led the team to a 4-5 start by going 8-1 at the #2 singles spot and 9-0 in doubles with partner Linda Ruamthong. Ruamthong has gone 6-2 in singles, playing the best players in the district in the #1 singles slot. Both seniors are headed to the University of Virginia next year; Ruamthong will study nursing, Reynolds Spanish.
Last year they were one match away from reaching the State championships for doubles, but this year they hope to go all the way. Ruamthong has played number one singles since her freshmen year—a role she said she finds both challenging and rewarding.
“It’s been tough to keep up as the number one spot,” she said. “I love to win, and #1 is really tough, if I played two or three, I’d have less stress, but it’s all good and fun.”
Scott Reynolds grew up in Streeter, Illinois, about a hundred miles southeast of Chicago. He had scholarship opportunities to play Division 1 tennis, but decided to go to the Coast Guard Academy instead. Nonetheless, he’s continued to indulge his passion for the game, and when his daughter asked him to coach the team this season, he jumped at the chance.
“We’ve played 8 matches, and we’re 4-4 and several of the losses were close, so the girls have done well so far,” he said before the team’s match on Thursday against Lake Braddock. “We beat Annandale 6-3, after losing to them earlier in the year, and I’m told we haven’t beaten them in years, so that was a very good result.”
After their two top seniors, the rest of the lineup consists of all underclassmen that will be a part of the team’s development over the next few years. Sophomores Madison Tenenbaum and Kharis Schrage have anchored the 3 and 5 singles positions respectively, and freshmen Sarah Waters and Casey Emmel have filled the 4 and 6 spots to fill out the starting lineup. Sophomores Trinity Richardson and Emily Marr often play doubles and have won some key matches for the team.
With five matches left in the regular season, wins against Lee, T.C. Williams, West Springfield, and Annadale has shown that the players are a force to be reckoned with in the district.
“We want to help them develop good fundamental tennis,” Coach Reynolds said. “Many of these girls will not go on to play in college, but I want them to keep playing, whether it be on social leagues, rec leagues, whatever, but in the meantime, hopefully we’ll keep winning some matches.”