By Nelson Coffin
Garrison Forest tennis coach Kim Marlor noted that her team had a “magical” season
That certainly applies to a squad that went unbeaten throughout the season and also captured the A Conference championship tournament last month at McDonogh.
While Marlor is happy to praise her players for their stellar work on the courts, her mid-match advice also helped tp turn the tide for some Grizzlies when they were in danger of falling behind or losing.
For example, in the No. 2 singles championship match between Garrison freshman Jenna Crain and St. Paul’s School for Girls junior Payton Hilzendeger, the Grizzlies rookie was having problems in the second set until Marlor made a minor adjustment in Crain’s game that had a major impact on the match.
Marlor said that Crain was not making Hilzendeger move enough in the second set.
“She was hitting the ball in the center of the court, so Payton didn’t have to move as much,” Marlor said. “But Jenna got back on track.”
And so did Garrison, which celebrated its team’s second championship victory in three years. shortly after Car
Marlor said that leadership of co-captains Josie Tidmore and AnnaRose Goldman was a key component to the stellar season.
“The team worked to improve as a group, supporting each other until the last match was completed and celebrating each member's successes throughout the season,” Marlor said. “Regardless of the context of each practice, teammates helped teammates to better their skills and eliminate flaws. Along with assistant coaches Lynn Taylor and Jeanine Wilson, every day of practice and match play was both constructive and fun. I always tell the girls that I want our practice time form 4-to-6 p.m. to be the best part of your day...and for the GFS tennis coaching staff it was.”
Garrison Forest acting athletic director Jodi Blackburn said that Marlor’s program has always been described as best in class.
“Kim's commitment to the ideals of fair play, integrity, and respect are evident not only in the success of her program, but in what she has instilled in each and every one of her players, past and present,” Blackburn added. “They remember that their coach, ‘Marlor,’ is someone who taught them the game and made them better.
“They remember fondly that she was fierce about her commitment to them as people, expecting the best out of her student athletes on and off the court. She is a beloved colleague who celebrates every other team's victories as well as her own. She is important to her student athletes as a coach, mentor and friend to alums from all decades.”
Marlor’s championship and undefeated 2019 season is a hallmark to her and her commitment to her team, Blackburn continued.
“She always gives the credit to her assistant coaches,” Blackburn said. “Her insistence that all stay to the very last point of the very last match has shown her players over and over again how important they are to each other and, as a result, she has once again, created a team that exhibits those valuable traits of integrity, fair play and respect.”