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Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

Junior tennis duo wins third straight region title

Photo submitted
Madelyn Settles and Cassie Lowe won their third straight 10th Region doubles title. They are pictured with coaches Travis True, Head Coach Seth Heinss, and Rebecca Prater.

“If someone would have told me when I first started playing tennis my freshman year that we would be three-time region champions, I wouldn’t have believed them,” Madelyn Settles said.

This is a quote that embodies the essence of Madelyn and doubles partner Cassie Lowe’s legendary journey.

When you hear of an iconic sports duo the first ones that come to mind might be Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen or Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison, but none of these compare to George Rogers Clark’s very own iconic duo — Cassi Lowe and Madelyn Settles.

Cassi and Madelyn are juniors who have made a splash on the tennis team all while balancing multiple other sports.

Their first year on the team playing doubles together was freshman year and they went on to win the Region 10 championship.

Not surprisingly, they did the same sophomore year. This duo continued to work hard and gained their three-peat this year at the 2024 Girls Tennis 10th Region Championship.

In doubles one of the most important parts is the bond between each other and Lowe and Settles definitely have this aspect of the game down.

“Cassi and I have been playing soccer together since we were young,” says Settles. “We then started playing tennis together and basically taught ourselves. This helps us on the court because we can predict what shot we are going to take or where we will move. This helps our doubles points flow better and makes us an overall better team.”

The pair have found the unique balance between being serious and having fun and this is evident when they step onto the court. “We always know what to say or do when one of us gets down and have learned how to pick each other up,” says Lowe. “This also takes the pressure off of us and allows us to play more freely and have fun.”

Lowe and Settles have gone through much preparation with their coaches to get to where they are now. “This year we prepared our mental game more rather than just our skill and this allowed us to really play to our fullest,” Settles said.

Head coach of the Tennis team Seth Heinss explains, “ It’s been very fun to teach them strategy and watch them implement it. They are very receptive and we can scout out players and teams and execute exactly how we planned.”

The players say having three influential coaches has impacted their game greatly.

“Each coach offers a different aspect that contributes to our success,” Lowe said. “The morning before the region championship, Coach Prater and Coach True acted as the two girls we played and this prepared us greatly. Without that, we wouldn’t have had the same results we did.”

The pair defeated Mason County in the region final with a score of 6-1 in the first set and 6-0 in the second.

“They came out in the region final to not leave any questions,” Coach Heinss said. “They dominated and it was a great match.”

With their quick success, Lowe and Settles have grasped the attention of many all over the community.

“The support from families and friends helps us a lot and plays a big role in all of our wins,” Lowe said. “The cheering during the championship really pushed us through and always makes the match more fun.”

“It feels amazing to be supported and surrounded by people,” Settles said. “Each year there are more players and more families a part of the team. It makes it so much fun to have such a big group of people who support the tennis team.”

Their biggest supporters, however, are each other.

“Seeing how we have grown as a doubles team through the years is incredible,” Settles said. “Winning it this third time was awesome and I am very proud of what we have accomplished.”

Moving into the state tournament, the pair is focused and hopefully will make a powerful deep run.

To see this dynamic duo continue, Cassi and Madelyn will play doubles in the state tournament starting May 28 either at Berea College or Eastern Kentucky University.

Boys doubles team Hayden Cockrell and Clay Turley (back right) finished as region doubles runner-up and also advance to state.

For the first time this season, KHSAA is hosting a team region. GRC will begin play in this tournament on May 18. Don’t miss an opportunity to support your Cardinals! (Photo submitted)


The team celebrates the doubles region win.
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Anna Barnes
Anna Barnes, Multimedia Staff
Hi, my name is Anna Barnes and the only thing you need to know about me is that I am probably the best junior in Smoke Signals. Compared to my fellow juniors I really rise to the top and knock the competition out of the water. Just kidding, kind of. If you can't tell already, I am a very humble and modest person. I have a duty to uphold and exceed the family legacy on the Smoke Signals staff but… it shouldn't be hard. On a real note, Smoke Signals is the best class ever and I am so excited to contribute to the staff this year.

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