Tennis Travelers at State

The USTA tennis team comprised of players from Houston and New Albany made their first trip to the State tournament in Jackson in December with a fifth-place showing.
Coach Mike Blissard said the team played well and the finish could be misleading.
“We only lost to one team, but the way the tournament is scored and the way the bracket fell we had to settle for fifth,” Blissard said. “All the players played well at the tournament.”
The team was missing member, Lane Brandon, who suffered an injury and could not compete. The other five members, Walt Harrington and Ezra Blissard of Houston and Mark Robbins, Christopher Shands and Trace Thompson of New Albany represented the Tanglefoot Travelers, named after the recreational trail that runs through both Union and Chickasaw counties.
A defeat by the Oxford team put the Travelers behind and Oxford went on to win the overall tournament.
“Although we won all the other matches we played, we never caught back up,” Blissard said.
This marked the first time for Harrington and Ezra Blissard to compete in a fall USTA State tournament and both said it was a worthwhile trip.
“It was a fun, new experience for me and the whole team just being a part of the first ever fall USTA State Championship,” Harrington said.
“It was great,” added Ezra Blissard. “Of course, my team helped me get there, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to play for a State title.”