July 11, 2013

KENNEBEC JOURNAL GIRLS TENNIS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Amber Pritchard

By DAVE DYER Staff Writer

When Winthrop girls tennis coach Kristen Cady needed to show her team how to do something right on the court during practice, she used Amber Pritchard as an example.

click image to enlarge

Winthrop graduate Amber Pritchard is the Kennebec Journal 2013 Girls Tennis Player of the Year.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

KENNEBEC JOURNAL/

MORNING SENTINEL ALL-STARS

First team
Singles:
Colleen O’Donnell, Waterville; Tiffany Suchanek, Waterville; Olivia Lopes, Waterville
Doubles: Lauren Hallenbeck-Jayme Saulter, Waterville; Erica LaPlante-Kelsey Rohman, Cony
Second team
Singles:
Clio Barr, Hall-Dale;  Amber Pritchard, Winthrop; Mackenzie Conlogue, Mt. Blue.
Doubles: Emma Cristan-Emily Dufour, Waterville; Kaite Perry-Katie Guzman, Cony

A lot.

“I would use her as a model, telling the girls ‘Watch, this is how you’re supposed to do it,’ ” Cady said.

Pritchard was a good example to use. The recent Winthrop graduate led the Ramblers throughout the season, qualifying for the state singles tournament for the second consecutive year. Pritchard defeated Sarah Smith of Calais 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the first round before losing to Waterville’s Tiffany Suchanek 6-0, 6-0 in the second round.

For her success during the season, Pritchard has been named the Kennebec Journal Girls Tennis Player of the Year.

“I definitely expected her to play in the singles tournament,” Cady said. “She’s been playing since she was three. She’s very, very determined, and this has been her life. I knew she would go far.”

Pritchard, who lost in the first round of the 2012 tournament to Caribou’s Ashley Richards, said her goal was to move farther along in the tournament.

“I was happy, because I got farther than I did last year, and my goal was to go farther than last year,” said Pritchard, who was named the to Mountain Valley Conference first team. “For the season, I was hoping we’d make the playoffs, and we did. We got a bye in the first round, but then lost to Carrabec. But it was a pretty good season and we went farther than we thought we would.”

Cady said Pritchard worked hard at having a well-rounded game on the court.

“She wanted to be a well-rounded player. She definitely had a solid forehand, backhand and serve, which are really the three key things you need to have to be a well-rounded tennis player.”

Cady, who finished her first season coaching at Winthrop, credited Pritchard with helping lead the team as a co-captain.

“She was a co-captain, and she was perfect,” Cady said. “She was the one that I relied on the most in everything. We had to put up nets every day (on the court). So she was always the one who had the key, got the balls out, got the nets up, and if it’s been kind of neat that if I needed anything she was the one who was there for me.”

Success on the court seemed to be a destiny of sorts for Pritchard. She started playing the game at an early age, beginning lessons at seven.

Pritchard first picked up a racket at the age of three. Her dad, David, was the biggest influence in learning tennis. Pritchard used the game to connect with David, who is hard of hearing.

“It was just a huge thing, because it was a way for me and my dad to connect,” Pritchard said. “When we were out on the court, there wasn’t a need to talk. We just played the game, and it was just nice to connect.”

Pritchard’s future plans will focus more on her cooking skills. She will attend Central Maine Community College to study culinary arts.

“I watch ‘Worst Cooks (in America)’ and a lot of stuff like that,” Pritchard said.

Dave Dyer — 621-5639
ddyer@centralmaine.com

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at KJonline.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


Blogs

Clearing the Bases - Yesterday
Pitching, pitching, pitching

More PPH Blogs

High School Football 2013

Fall Sports 2012

Purchase Photos

Find more photos >>