As a youngster Marysville tennis star Leticia Staples was always used to watching her older siblings on the court. When it came time for her freshman year in high school, she decided to pick up a racket and the rest is history.
“Her determination is really what impresses me the most. It’s been a real highlight of my life to watch her grow on and off the court. She gets the maximum potential out of herself and her teammates,” said Marysville head tennis coach, Richard Staples.
On Friday, Staples and her doubles partner, Angelie Xiong, competed at the section tournament and finished in second place overall after losing to Riverbank 6-1, 2-6 and 5-7.
The setback however was minor in the big picture for a player who’s used to competing hard year after year.
“I think when I look back on my high school tennis years one of my favorite moments will be winning league both my junior and senior seasons with two different doubles teammates,” said the soon-to-be graduate of Marysville High.
Tennis is more than just a sport to Leticia, it’s a way to apply lessons into real life.
“Being able to adjust to certain hardships as you go is something I’m super grateful tennis has taught me… to not give up and to realize if you push hard enough you can achieve it,” said Staples.
One story that her coach and peers remember about Staples is her ability to not quit. This season, coach Staples remembers when Leticia was defeated by two girls in the league earlier in the season.
“You could sort of tell it bothered her that she and her teammate lost, so I knew we would be in for a competitive match the next time they faced each other,” said coach Staples.
Sure enough, Leticia and her teammate came away from the match successful en route to their league title and then a second place finish at the section championship.
“It’s definitely not the result we wanted, but we have to be happy with how hard we worked to get here. Both Angelie (Xiong) and I trained so hard last summer so we can hold our heads high of this accomplishment,” said Staples.
As far as post-graduation plans go for Staples, tennis isn’t in the competitive playbook, however she doesn’t feel she will be a stranger to the sport.
“I’ll take a tennis class as well as participate in intramural tennis, so it’ll be good to stay active in the sport,” said Staples.
Staples will be attending Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah this fall.