Riverside tennis standouts sign with Blue Mountain College

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Riverside seniors Dylan Austin and Hunter Rand sign letter of intent to play tennis at Blue Mountain College in Mississippi. Pictured are, from left: Dylan, BMC Tennis Coach Warner Creekmore and Hunter. Standing are Coach Terry Conner, Assistant Coach Scott Dunkerson, Alicia Austin and Hayden Austin, Steve Campbell, Trever Mangrum, Alexis Rand, Courtney Rand and Anthony Reece.

Riverside senior tennis players Dylan Austin and Hunter Rand were guests of honor Wednesday as they signed letters of intent to play tennis at Blue Mountain College (BMC) in northeastern Mississippi. The senior teammates are looking forward to continuing tennis at the college level.

They both said the visit to BMC, a four year Christian college founded in 1873, helped in their decision.

"It is a nice school," Hunter said. "It was like leaving one home and going to another."

Dylan said it is only a couple of hours away and it is a really nice drive.

They are also pleased they will continue to be team-mates as well as room-mates as they further their education and continue playing tennis.

BMC tennis coach Warner Creekmore was on hand for the signing welcoming the young men.

The Riverside tennis teams have dominated the courts over the years and Dylan and Hunter have been part of three state championships and state runner-up during their four years of high school tennis.

Both play singles and during their senior season Dylan was district runner-up with 14-2 and Hunter was third place with 15-2.

Their team record from the ninth through the 11th grades ended with an impressive 162-11.

"We appreciate our Riverside coaches Terry Conner and Scott Dunkerson," Ryan said.

They went on to give credit to their coaches. Coach Conner has led his teams to numerous state titles.

Coach Conner has led the tennis program at Riverside since 1998.

"Without them (coaches) we would not be where we are today," Hunter said. "They encouraged us, worked with us and challenged us."

Dylan also plays baseball, basketball, bowling and is a member of the Rebel track team.

In addition to tennis, Hunter plays baseball.

Coach Conner congratulated the young men.

"They have been a big part of our success over the past four years," Coach Conner said. "They are talented and have the ability to go on and become even better players."

The young men signed to play tennis in the Riverside Gymnasium with family members and teammates joining them. A reception was held following the signing.

Hunter is the son of Courtney Rand and Steve Campbell and stepson of Anthony Reece.

Dylan is the son of Alicia and Tray Austin.

Dylan plans to major in business administration and Hunter plans to major in physical education and become a teacher/coach.

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