HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Damon Calvert was perfectly content pursuing a computer science degree at Wallace State. That was until a leisurely tennis match with a friend ultimately led to a scholarship with the Lions.
Wallace State is reintroducing its men’s and women’s tennis programs this fall after they were discontinued in 2004, and Calvert, a 2014 West Point High graduate, recently became the program’s second signee.
Calvert played four seasons for the Warriors in high school, serving as West Point’s No. 1 singles player as a senior.
“I had some opportunities to play tennis out of high school, but decided to pursue a degree at Wallace State because it has such a good computer programming degree,” said Calvert, 20. “Not too long ago, I was playing tennis with one of my friends who plays at Gadsden State, and my high school coach stopped by. He told me Wallace State was starting its tennis program again. One call led to another and I contacted (Wallace State tennis recruiter) Paul Creech.”
It didn’t take long for Calvert to earn the tennis scholarship.
“I’ve missed playing tennis competitively, but at the same time I was happy with my decision to focus solely on education. I’m excited I get to do both now,” Calvert said.
Before the Wallace State tennis programs were discontinued, they accounted for four of the seven NJCAA national titles earned by college. The men’s program won NJCAA Division II titles in 1995 and 1996 and the women in 1995 and 1999.
Calvert is excited to contribute to the new Wallace State tennis era.
“I’m pumped to be a part of the tennis program. It’s nice to know you are going to be playing for a team that has some national championships in its pocket,” Calvert said. “I’m thrilled to get back into the sport. I hope we are successful right off the bat.”
Clint Watson, also a current Wallace State student, was the program’s first signee. Joining Watson and Calvert to the tennis program thus far are Cullman High’s Emily Graves and Donny Camp. Graves is the first women’s signee.
Wallace State softball sophomore Shelby Brown signs with Faulkner University
Wallace State sophomore Shelby Brown will continue her softball career next season at Faulkner University after recently signing with the Eagles.
Brown, a native of Hueytown, has been one of Wallace State’s most productive hitters in 2016. She enters Thursday’s doubleheader against Calhoun hitting .348 with 10 homers and 38 RBIs. Her 10 homers are tied with two teammates for the team lead and the 38 RBIs are second-best. She has played both first and second base this season and appeared in six games on the mound.
“As I continue my Wallace State career, it’s a very comforting feeling to know where I’ll be playing next season,” said Brown, a biology major. “I’m glad Faulkner’s coaching staff believes in me enough to allow me to continue to play the game I love.”
Brown also succeeds in the classroom. She maintains a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of Wallace State’s Phi Theta Kappa and Sigma Kappa Delta honor societies.
As a freshman in 2015, Brown hit .291 in 55 at bats with a homer and seven RBIs as the Lady Lions captured the program’s ninth Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) title.
Wallace State softball currently sits in a tie with Shelton State atop the ACCC North standings. The Lady Lions are 15-1 in ACCC play and have won 28 of 31 games overall.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit http://athletics.wallacestate.edu/
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