Coach Brad Belden knows two sides of Kansas City Christian junior Sara Goodwin.
There’s the Goodwin he has in class — a sweet, shy and reserved girl who is generally beloved.
Then, there’s the Goodwin that swept her way to a second straight Kansas 3-2-1A state singles championship, going 26-0 last fall.
“When she gets onto the court, she’s a super competitor,” Belden said. “She gets really into it, and she’s pacing and everything. She’s so respectful and polite in class, but then she has this super intense persona on the court.”
It might seem strange to pick a small-class player as The Star’s All-Metro girls tennis player of the year, but Goodwin’s resume is bona fide.
She toppled Alena Frye in tournament play at Bishop Miege, handing Frye, a Barstow junior, one of her three losses in the season. And Goodwin later took out previously unbeaten Tawni Griffey of Norton Community in the state final.
Without a loss on her ledger, Goodwin goes down as having the best season among the city’s girls tennis stars.
“Tennis is one of those individual sports where class has less effect on tennis,” Belden said. “It’s more about the individuals, and the dedication and time kids put in on their own. She’s put in a lot of work, and there’s no doubt that she can play with the best girls in the city.”
Hey, winning two state titles speaks volumes, right?
“I think it meant a lot to her to win it again,” Belden said. “Her parents were there this time, and that alone made it special. But also, winning it the first time, people can say it’s a fluke. Defending it, people have to give respect where respect is due.”
To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.
To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to <a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.