Bryan Whitehurst / Dothan
2019 Boys Tennis Player of Year
>> Background: Whitehurst was a senior and No. 1 singles player this year for Dothan High School and head coach Dirk Williams. He also played No. 1 doubles with Brody Barnett. Whitehurst, also Dothan High’s valedictorian, became the second member of his family to be honored as Dothan Eagle Boys Tennis Player of the Year. His brother, Peter, won in 2015 in the first year the award was presented.
>> 2019 stats: Whitehurst finished the season 15-4, including 8-1 against Wiregrass competition. Three of the four losses were in a tiebreaker, including one to a state champion and another to a state semifinalist. He also amassed a 14-3 record in doubles with Barnett.
>> Thoughts on being named player of year: I was kind of surprised I got the award because there is a lot of competition in Dothan, Enterprise and Houston Academy. I am honored that I was able to receive the award.
>> What does it mean to get an award your brother also received? I am very happy to get the same award Peter won because I have always looked up to him. I remember when he got that award, I was like, ‘I really hope I can get that one day.’ He has always been a mentor to me and a lot of things he achieved I have strived to achieved.
>> What were your goals going into the season? My goals for this season were to win sectional or at least get second place and make state with the team. Also my goal was to get to know the team better and bond as a team. Another goal was to do better in doubles than last year as I had the same doubles partner, Brody. We practiced doubles a lot and we were able to get a lot of really good wins. We didn’t make state (as a team) this year, but I am still very proud of the team as we pulled off some matches we weren’t supposed to win.
>> What are your strengths on the court? Being a lefty, I think I have a very good cross-court forehand so when I hit that ball cross court it goes to the other player’s backhand. That works out very good for a lefty because we have a very good angle.
>> What are your future plans? I will be attending college at Alabama. I am going to be a computer science major. I plan on playing club tennis at UA and I am looking forward to that a lot.
>> Williams on Whitehurst: He was just totally clutch. He played some amazing tennis this year for us. He steadily improved his whole career at Dothan, getting better and better. He was definitely the leader of our team. All the kids responded to him. When he stepped out on the court, he meant business.
>> Williams on Whitehurst’s best attribute: He got so consistent – ball placement and every part of his game. He hardly ever had a bad day. They were going to have beat him at his best. I also love the way he carries himself on and off the court. He also helped the kids around him. He is a very unselfish athlete.