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Shives committed to seeing success

June 18, 2008|By MARK KELLER

Lisa Shives refuses to take much credit for the success of the Clear Spring tennis teams in 2008.

"I wasn't the one out there on the courts playing," Shives said. "The kids were. They deserve all the credit."

Despite her reluctance, Shives has been selected as The Herald-Mail's All-Area and All-County Tennis Coach of the Year.

It's difficult to argue with the results. Clear Spring's girls went 17-0 this year -- the best season in school history -- and the boys were 15-2, matching their record the previous season.

Both teams won the MVAL Antietam title, the first outright conference titles in any sport for Clear Spring since it joined the league in 2003.

Shives said one of her biggest roles as a coach is to make sure the athletes become more responsible young adults by preaching commitment.

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"From 3:45 to 5:45, they know they've got to be there," Shives said. "If they have to work, they're going to have to work around our practices. You have to honor that, even though you might have other things to do or want to do."

She said that commitment wasn't a problem this season, and that was a big part of the reason she expected big things from her players.

"We were pretty sure the boys would be strong because we had most of them back from last year," Shives said. "With the girls, we had no seniors, so we didn't anticipate an undefeated season.

"But as the year went along, we started to set the goals that way."

Shives' hope is that the girls team -- which should have all its top players returning in 2009 -- will follow the path that the boys took last year by backing up one good season with another.

"We definitely expect great things from the girls next year, but we expect a lot of great things from the boys, too," Shives said. "We have a lot of 9th- and 10th-graders who will move right in and step up for us."

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