By Robert Wilson
Victories in Metro
Kathryn Carroll’s temperament is so calm that most people can’t tell when she is winning or losing a tennis match.
But there isn’t any question where Carroll stands about her faith.
Carroll is on solid ground for Jesus Christ and she’ll make sure you know that.
A daughter of a United Methodist pastor, Carroll began a close relationship with Christ in the seventh grade.
“That’s when she first began to experience the opportunity to make Christ the center of her life and how important that was,” said Kathryn’s father, David Carroll, an associate pastor and youth pastor at
“We had some intense worship experiences on that retreat,” Kathryn Carroll said. “We all had huge experiences, amazing God experiences, and I developed a deeper relationship with Christ. I’ve grown closer and closer since then.
“I think it’s very important that people can tell by your actions and mannerisms that you are a Christian. I try to praise God through tennis.”
Carroll began playing tennis at age four when she was only as tall as the net.
She went on to become a standout junior tennis player in
Carroll was one of the top junior players in
“I never saw Kathryn get frustrated or mad,” Madison Central tennis coach Terri Garren said. “She has such a great attitude. Kathryn is smart, has great talent and worked hard to achieve her goal of getting a tennis scholarship. She has a lot of determination. Kathryn is the ultimate team player.”
“Kathryn has always shown good sportsmanship since I’ve known her,” said Ryan Farlow, who was one of Carroll’s teammates at Madison Central who won three state titles and is now a freshman tennis player at
“Kathryn is truly the kind of student-athlete who will flourish at
Carroll’s junior coach, River Hills director of junior tennis Jim Ragsdale, agrees that
“Kathryn is very strong and college coaches like that aggressive style,” Jim Ragsdale said. “She will make an excellent doubles player in college. Coach Dielen has been coaching at
During the 2006 season, Carroll has posted an 8-7 record No. 2 singles, including 4-2 record in the Big South Conference. She and partner Cammie Nix have posted a 6-7 mark at No. 1 doubles with a 3-3 conference record.
Carroll’s parents both played college tennis. Her mother, the former Laura Smith, played at
“When I was younger I thought I might want to go to an SEC school and that tennis would be my life,” Kathryn Carroll said. “But I knew I wasn’t good enough to be a professional tennis player and I wanted to go to a Methodist school and study biology or science. I liked
It was a joy for David Carroll to watch his daughter grow up and mature in his church at Galloway after moving from
“I’ve been in a wonderful position to watch Kathryn and Benjamin (Kathryn’s older brother) grow spiritually,” David said. “We have a very diverse youth group at
“Kathryn has a real tenacious faith,” said Ben, a senior at
Kathryn Carroll lost an important member of her family about three years ago when her grandfather, Dr. Robert R. Smith, died while playing in a tennis tournament at River Hills Club.
“Kathryn and Dr. Smith were very close,” David said. “She had great support from him. He died shortly after she won her first state title. He always offered support, encouragement and a $100 bill every now and then. He would have been so proud of her now.”
“My grandfather was always the sweetest person and he touched a lot of people,” Carroll said. “He was a huge supporter of my tennis. I remember I had my first car wreck, sprained my ankle playing tennis and my grandfather died all in a month’s time. It was a tough time in my life. My grandfather would come to my tennis matches and enjoyed every minute. He was a wonderful man and I miss him.”
Carroll, like her grandfather, has touched many people in her life. She’s on her way to touching many more as she shines for Jesus Christ in her tennis and her life.
Wilson is the publisher and editor of Victories in Metro Jackson magazine, a quarterly Christian sports publication in