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Jefferson coaches simply know how to win

June 06, 2007|by MARK KELLER

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - The numbers are staggering.

A combined 48 years of coaching.

45 regional titles.

918 dual match victories.

Only 126 dual match losses.

Outside of Bradenton, Fla., Jefferson High School might be the most prolific tennis factory in the United States.

The coaching duo of Glenn Edwards and Judy Marcus have an awful lot to do with the success Jefferson has enjoyed on the courts for nearly three decades.

The 2007 season wasn't any different.Edwards' boys team went 23-1, won the Apple Valley League title and its 27th regional title in the last 28 years.

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Marcus' girls team was 24-1, won the AVL title and its 18th regional title in the last 20 years.

For those reasons, Edwards and Marcus earned The Herald-Mail Boys and Girls Tennis Coach of the Year honors.

The unbelievable success the Cougars enjoy every season starts long before the players reach high school. Both Edwards and Marcus have been instrumental parts of Jefferson County's junior tennis program for many years.

"We start kids playing as young as 3 years old, and they play through our elementary program, our middle school program and our JV program," Edwards said. "And not only do our players have a lot of success in high school, but a lot go on to play in college. And there's a lot of pride in that, too."

Edwards and Marcus estimate that nearly 100 percent of the varsity players they have coached at Jefferson have worked their way through the county's junior system, while about 75 to 80 percent of the junior varsity players have done so.

"I've known both of them for a long time. I started playing when I was 5 or 6 in the elementary program and I've learned so much about the game from both of them," Jefferson's Brittany Moreland said.

Edwards and Marcus have been part of the program for so long, they're now coaching a second generation of Jefferson County tennis players.

Moreland happens to be one of those second-generation players. Her mother played in the junior system.

The familiarity of coach with player, player with coach and parent with coach is one of the key elements to the success of both the junior program and that of the high school teams.

"It helps that we've been together doing this so long, because the kids come to us, the parents ... they know what to expect," Marcus said. "Our parents don't come to parent meetings. Why? Because we're doing it the same way. Why fix it if it's not broken?"

Edwards and Marcus concur that one of the things they have in common is that they like to win. Looking at the numbers, it's obvious that they know what it takes to do that.

"You know what we are, and this is what you're going to get," Marcus said. "We're going to help your kid, we're going to be responsible adults, we're going to be positive role models, we're going to have a good time and play good tennis."

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