Midwest 2A Player of the Year Kindley signs
Lincolnton Lady Wolvesâ€™ tennis player Shawn Kindley signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Wingate University on Wednesday.
Kindley was joined at the signing by the people who have been most instrumental in developing her career: Lincolnton Athletic Director Scott Cloninger, her head coach for the past four years Chris Hoffman, parents Ken and Terri Kindley and her personal coach over the last five years Don Campbell, who owns Indian Creek Tennis and Swim Club.
Hoffman, like the others, were especially proud of what she has been able to accomplish on the court. Kindley finished her career with a 69-42 mark, with a 35-18 singlesâ€™ record. Shawn made the Midwest 2A All-Conference team in 2002 and 2003.
Shawn not only knew how to win as an individual, but she knew how to lead. How well did she lead? Playing as the No. 1 seed her junior and senior years, she led the Lady Wolves to back-to-back Midwest 2A Crowns to help comprise the teamâ€™s three-peat.
As an individual she wasnâ€™t too shabby either winning the 2003 conference tournament and being named the 2004 MW 2A Player of the Year with an undefeated record.
â€œShawnâ€™s been an outstanding player. Sheâ€™s been an impact player as a freshman helping us tremendously in doubles. Sheâ€™s accepted her role and each year her contributions have gotten greater and greater to our team,â€ Hoffman said.
â€œIâ€™ve seen her develop as a player. Shawnâ€™s an excellent student in the classroom, gets along with everybody and I know sheâ€™s going to have a great career,â€ he added.
So how will Kindley remember her career?
â€œAt first I didnâ€™t know how well I was going to fit in, but it was a good experience and Iâ€™ve loved every minute of it.â€
The soon-to-be 18-year old chose Wingate because it was more familiar to her than other schools. Shawnâ€™s dad and sister Mary Kelly both attended the school giving her ample opportunity to see the campus.
â€œIâ€™ve gotten to be on the campus a little bit more than other campuses, so I guess Iâ€™ve gotten a better image of Wingate. Their tennis program is a little more progressed than Lenior Rhyneâ€™s,â€ she said.
Campbell believes there has been a huge transition over the past couple of years in Kindleyâ€™s attitude and game.
â€œIt was obvious that she had a lot of potential. What I saw over the last two years is she went from playing what I call a â€˜juniorâ€™ to playing more like an adult. An adult tennis player takes responsibility for themselves, gives 100 percent in practice and matches. In the past year, Iâ€™ve seen her make that transition,â€ he said.
Kindley, herself, had doubts about whether she would be blessed enough to take her game to the next level.
â€œItâ€™s a dream come true. At first, I didnâ€™t really know if I was going to go as far as tennis, but this past year has actually been reassuring that I was going. Actually getting the offer was exciting,â€ she said.
In becoming the POY for the conference, Kindley recorded an undefeated singlesâ€™ record in her senior year.
â€œItâ€™s a really good feeling. I went 5-1 last year, so it became my goal and it was pretty exciting when I won my last singlesâ€™ match.â€
Shawn had a short list of people she wanted to thank for their efforts in supporting her and helping her become a better player.
â€œMy parents. Coach Hoffman who has coached me for the past four years. Don, a bunch of my friends were with him, so I moved to him after my first tennis pro left town. Iâ€™ve been playing with him for awhile now.â€
When asked what she wanted to accomplish her senior year, Kindley hesitated then in tennis player fashion responded by thinking on her toes.
â€œI just want to get used to the higher-level of play and see how hard I need to work to be better for the next year,â€ she said.
How will she remember her last year in black and gold?
â€œIt was a great year. I met my goal as far as undefeated in singles and just the whole deal with being a senior. It was one of the best ones.â€
by John Mark Brooks