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State-best siblings
Farragut kids end ’03 as top-ranked tennis players

Tennessee’s top-ranked tennis siblings from Farragut are William Sparks, 10, and big sister Lauren Farlett, 14.
Betsy Sparks’ coaching talents apparently go well beyond her coaching of the Farragut High School tennis teams.

Sparks’ two children, Lauren Farlett, 14, and William Sparks, 10, will both end the 2003 United States Tennis Association season ranked No. 1 in the state of Tennessee. “They’ve both worked very hard,” Sparks said, “and they spend a lot of time practicing.”

William, a fifth-grader at Farragut Intermediate School, is not only number one in boys’ 10 singles, but is also top-ranked in ‘10’ doubles.

Among a 32-team field from eight southern states and Peurto Rico, William won the “Little Mo” Southern Section tournament in in Atlanta in late May. He then captured both the singles and doubles titles at the Tennessee State Closed championships in July, besting a 64-team field.

Lauren, a freshman at FHS, is top-ranked in the girls’ 16 class (ages 14 to 16). She also won three of five matches against some of the best ‘16’ competition in the nation during the USTA National Open Championships in Pensacola, Fla. Nov. 27 to 29.

Among a 16-team field, Lauren won the Tennessee State Open in July in Oak Ridge.

Defying her youth, Lauren also won the girls’ 18 doubles at the Tennessee State Open, and also won the Tennessee State Closed girls’ 14 doubles title in July.

Although coach Sparks said she is the “primary coach” for both her children, she also credits Deidra Dunn, a coach at Tyson Park Tennis Center who works with Lauren; and Mario Toledo at Knoxville Racquet Club for his work with William.

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