UTC Tennis Senior Flynn Relies on Faithful Friends

UTC Poised For SoCn Title Run

Thursday, April 17, 2014 - by B.B. Branton
UTC senior tennis player Alexa Flynn
UTC senior tennis player Alexa Flynn
- photo by Dale Rutemeyer

Life is good for UTC senior tennis player Alexa Flynn. Or so it seems.

A first team all-Southern Conference doubles player, with a 3.7 GPA and headed to law school in a couple of years.

She and her Chattanooga teammates have had a great season (17-4, 7-2), are poised to make a run at the SoCon team championship and open tournament play today at 3 p.m. against No.6 Ga. Southern.

The highlight of her one year of high school tennis (Houston HS in Memphis) was winning the region and upsetting the defending state champ Kayla McMurry in the state quarters who now plays for Tennessee.

But looking a little closer and life hasn’t been so easy for the senior political science major.

She struggled with injuries (not able to use her left hand) her senior year in high school and the first three years at UTC – but injury-free this season - and found out her senior year in high school that her mother, Katarina Flynn, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

“The doctors gave her five years to live and this is the fifth year,” said the oldest of two sisters. “She has gone through lots of chemo treatments and defied the doctors second assessment last summer of only having two months to live. It’s been a year and she is still with us.”

After graduation, Flynn plans to go home to Memphis and spend the summer with her mom.

“Realistically, we don’t think she will live past the summer.”

Asked how she has coped with the tough times, she quickly points to her coach and teammates.

“This is the best group of teammates I have ever played with and they have been so supportive of me and have helped me though so many tough times,” said Flynn. “My teammates my sophomore year were also great, but the year’s team is phenomenal as is coach Clark.”

While, illness of her mom weighs heavy on the 22-year-old senior, she has pressing responsibilities of the aforementioned So Con tournament this week and exams next week.

“I am ready for exams and am caught up on my school work except for a 10-page paper I can crank out in about four to five hours,” Flynn stated.

While academic finals are next week, Flynn and her Blue and Gold teammates have three days of “tennis finals” and all graded pass-fail.

“We are excited about playing here in Chattanooga in front of our fans and we are ready to make a run at the championship.”

“Alexa has worked hard on her fitness for the past several months, her hard work on and off the court was rewarded with an all-conference doubles choice and now she is ready to help us go for a title,” said UTC women’s coach Jeff Clark.

Late Saturday afternoon, Flynn and company hope to have acquired three passing grades (wins) with a championship trophy to show for their efforts.

And a lifetime of memories of those who helped her through the good and the bad.

State Tournament Maze: UTC players once were high school foes

Alexa Flynn (Houston), Kaylene Chadwell (Centennial), Kayla Jones (White Station), Alison Storie (Science Hill)

TSSAA AAA State Singles: (2008-21012)

2008:  Kayla McMurry (Bearden, So.) def. Kaylene Chadwell (Centennial, Fr.) in quarters … Allison Hodges (Houston HS, Jr.) defeats McMurry in semis and beats Kelly Gray (Siegel Jr.) for the state title.

2009 - Chadwell (soph) is injured and does not play in the state ... McMurry (Jr.) def. defending state champion Hodges (Houston, Sr.) in semis and beats Alison Storie (Science Hill, Fr) in finals

2010 - Alexa Flynn (Houston Sr.) gets revenge for Hodges and beats defending state champ McMurry  (Sr.) in the quarters ... Chadwell beat Flynn in the semis ... this was Fynn's last high school match ... played only one year of high school tennis and beats the defending champ in first round.

Chadwell (Jr.) beats Mallory Hutton (Shelbyville Sr) in finals gp ... Chadwell loses 5 games in three matches

2011 – Two future Mocs meet in quarters as Kayla Jones (White Station, Jr.) beats Alison Storie (Sci. Hill Jr.) … Jones beats Payton Robinette (Maryville Fr.) in semis ... defending champ Chadwell beats Jones in three sets for second title …

2012 - Jones (Sr) loses in semis to Josie Rogers (Dobyns Bennett Fr.) who in turn loses to Ashlee Boles (Siegel Jr.) in the finals

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


UTC Leads Central Michigan, 16-7 at Half

Highlighted by two touchdown passes by Jacob Huesman, Chattanooga leads host Central Michigan, 16-7 at halftime. First Score: UTC put points on the scoreboard first on a career long 47 yard field goal by Henrique Rubeiro for a 3-0 lead at 10:21 of the first quarter. The Mocs pushed the lead to 16-0 on a pair of Huesman to Tommy Hudson scoring tosses before the ... (click for more)

Thursday Night College Football - SoCon Coaches' Philosophy

For some college football coaches, an opening season Thursday night game is a good way to get the students out on a week night, for others it disrupts the usual game week routine. Fewer games on the national docket (compared to a Saturday schedule) and an upset win can bring good national coverage. During Tuesday’s Conference Call, a few of the coaches ... (click for more)

School Board Unanimously Makes Cuts To Teacher Insurance; Spouses Can Only Stay On If They Have No Other Insurance

The Hamilton County School Board on Thursday night voted to Increase the premium for spouses by $100 - a move officials said would save the schools from $2,040,000 to $3,040,000. Spouses will not continue to be covered if they have insurance available to them on their jobs. School officials said the 1,700 spouses on county school insurance last year had $10 million in claims. ... (click for more)

City Audit Hits Travel Abuses By Top Chattanooga Library Personnel; Report Forwarded To State On Possible Fraud

A report by Internal City Auditor Stan Sewell found travel abuses by top personnel of the Chattanooga Library. The auditor said he found possible instances of fraud and forwarded information to state officials in regard to "reported potential fraudulent activity" by Margaret Backus, Systems Administrator and Nathaniel Hill, Assistant Library Director. The report says, ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)