Cousins, Brock Newton and Mary Kathryn Newton both love tennis and although they attended different schools at different times, they both led their tennis teams to win their first state finals in school history.
Brock attended Patrick Henry High School and graduated in 2004. He remembers growing up and playing tennis with his family.
“I just remember playing with mom and dad, Richard and Priscilla Newton and at sports camp at Hunting Hills Country Club,” he said. “I just really enjoyed it and stuck with it.”
As he continued playing throughout his high school career, his tennis team made it to state finals three out of four years.
“It was something we worked towards,” Brock said.
His tennis partner, Tyler Early, made it all four years of his high school career in doubles. As for Brock, he made it to state finals his senior year and lost in doubles.
Brock was also ranked number one in singles and in doubles. He was All-Timesland Player, All-District, won the regional title, All-State and even a four time All-American in the NCAA.
But Brock helped bring his team to win the AAA state championships in 2004. As Mary Kathryn also did this year at Hidden Valley High School.
Mary Kathryn, who graduated from HVHS this spring remembers playing tennis at the young age of 8-years-old. She also started playing at sports camp at Hunting Hills Country Club and remembers playing with her parents, John and Kitty Newton.
Mary Kathryn has also received lessons from Brock during her high school career.
“I’m really competitive,” she said. “I really enjoyed it when I was little and I stuck with it. My mom plays tennis so I’d go play with her and then I started playing at Hidden Valley.”
Her mom, Kitty said in 9th-grade Mary Kathryn was playing JV Basketball and Tennis.
“I secretly hoped she’d pick tennis,” she said.
And sure enough she did.
“After playing basketball, and tennis season began, I knew tennis was the sport I wanted to persue,” Mary Kathryn said.
Mary Kathryn served as captain of the Hidden Valley team and hold other accolades such as 2nd Team All-District Player for her junior and senior year. As a freshman she was number five of the top six, the only freshman in the top six. As a sophomore she was number four in singles and number two in doubles. Her junior year she was ranked number three in singles and number two in doubles which she held through her senior year.
Hidden Valley’s girl’s tennis stood 15-0 in the district and 16-0 in the region. Her tennis partner is Emily Seibert. In the semi-finals it was Mary Kathryn and Seibert’s double match that determined whether Hidden Valley would return the next day for finals.
This year, playing in the state finals wasn’t easy. Semi-finals were held on Friday and Mary Kathryn and her team were up against three time state champs, John Handley High School.
They defeated John Handley High 5-4 Friday afternoon.
And Saturday was Mary Kathryn’s graduation at Hidden Valley and the state final championship against EC Glass at Radford University. As if that wasn’t crazy enough, rushing to and from, it was rained out and had to be moved to Virgina Tech. Luckily, the girls pulled through beating EC Glass 5-2 and taking home their first state title in tennis.
Brock’s state championship was similar. His team’s state championship finals were held in Northern Virginia, also on his graduation date.
Brock attended Palm Beach Atlantic University in South Florida, where he also played tennis and studied psychology. His senior year he was ranked 23rd in the nation for NCAA Division II and that same year he made it to the national team tournament. He now works for the Roanoke County Police Department.
Mary Kathryn will be attending Virginia Tech in the fall to major in Business and Pre-Law Studies. She is thinking about playing club tennis while she is there.
Brock and Mary Kathryn have played local tournaments together, including the Roanoke Valley Invitational Tennis Tournament and plan on doing so in the future.