Morgan’s Brackin has won two tournaments in 2017, moving up state rankings

Published 9:04 pm Monday, February 27, 2017

In sixth grade, Will Brackin’s mom told him she wanted him to try tennis. Will, a football and basketball player, hadn’t grown as fast as some of his classmates, so he was one of the smaller students on those teams. He initially hated the idea.

“I didn’t want to play. I thought it was awful,” Brackin said. “I turned out to be really good at it, so I fell in love with it.”

Will is not only really good at tennis, he’s starting to think about playing it in college. He won the 15 and 16-year-old age division of The Elite Winter Classic in Hoover in January and the Montgomery Country Club Spring Clay Court Tournament in February.  He’s ranked No. 28 in the state of Alabama in the boys 16 division, according to the United States Tennis Association website.

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“It feels really good that all the work has finally paid off,” Brackin said. “When you start, if there are 300 people, you’re 301, so it feels good to work your way to the top.”

Brackin is also the No. 1 singles player on the Morgan Academy tennis team, which regularly makes a deep run in the Alabama Independent School Association playoffs. Since all of Morgan’s school tournaments take place on weekdays, he plays tournaments on the weekends.

After a long week of school and tennis, he admits that sometimes he’d rather be sitting at home, relaxing on the weekends, but then he remembers all the progress he’s made.

“It’s become an obsession to see your ranking go up and get more points,” Brackin said.

“It’s the satisfaction of knowing your ranking is going up that makes it worth it.”

Will loves tennis for many reasons, but one of the biggest is that he’s his own team. If something goes wrong, there’s nobody to blame for making a bad pass or striking out. It’s up to him to make the plays and figure it out.

“For all the sports I played, it was never that the physical part was hard for me. It was always the mental stuff, like I played baseball and the hardest part was remembering the signs the coach would give me,” Brackin said. “In football, I could have a great game but the team didn’t do well so we could still lose. Not to sound selfish, but in tennis it’s up to you on how you want to do. It’s kind of difficult not having a coach. When you get out there, there’s no coach. It’s just you. I kind of enjoy that.”

Brackin has only taken three weekends off so far in 2017 and plans to keep playing at that pace the rest of the season. He’s hoping to play tennis at the college level.

“Hopefully I can play in college,” Brackin said. “I’ve had a few email me and I’ve talked to a few smaller colleges.”