James Wood girls' tennis player Morgan Burner

5cc745b8c22a0.imageJames Wood High School 17-year-old senior

Sport: Tennis. Position: No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles

Parents: Larry and Wendy Burner

Hometown: Winchester

What do you love about tennis: I just love that you get to play your own individual game, but you still contribute to a team effort.

Most memorable moment in tennis: I was injured last season due to a shoulder injury, so after my surgery and I was in recovery I was debating whether I would go back to tennis because of the risk of getting injured again. The first time I got back on the courts was definitely the most memorable and all of the emotions came back and the love for the sport.

Most embarrassing moment in tennis: On the first day of tryouts freshman year, I slipped and fell pretty hard onto the courts. I was scared I wouldn’t even make the team.

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: My great uncle Sonny Grim, he passed away when I was really young so I don’t really remember anything. My family always tells stories of him of how light-hearted and kind he was and I would love to meet him; Stephanos Tsitsipas, he’s from Greece and he plays tennis. I would love to just meet him and learn his unique style of playing; Steve Irwin, just because I love the way he is so in touch with nature and the wildlife. I’d love to learn about that because a lot of people today don’t really care about the environment.

What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received: From Coach [Sharon] Sweet, it’s “to always play the next point because in tennis it’s so crucial to play each point like it’s its own game. Not get in your head and play your best game.”

If you could go on a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go: I’d really like to travel across Europe because I’ve been to Central America and South America. I would just love to see the Eastern Hemisphere.

Favorite teacher: Mr. [Stewart] Belkin is my sociology teacher. I just love that he has been so nice and welcoming to me. I’ve know him for the past two years. He just always makes class fun and the sensitive issues we talk about he makes them light and not uncomfortable.

Favorite athlete: Bryce Harper

Favorite team: Washington Nationals

Favorite movie: “Patch Adams”

Favorite TV show: “That 70’s Show”

Favorite song: “Grillz” by Nelly

Favorite food: Bojangles fried chicken

Plans after high school: I’m planning to attend Shepherd in the fall and I’ve been pre-accepted into the nursing program. Last May, I had the opportunity to go to a medical mission trip in Peru and the Amazon jungle, so I got to scrub in and help in [operating rooms] and just observe. That really liked seal the deal for nursing for me. My mom is a nurse practitioner. I’m also verbally committed to play on the tennis team at Shepherd.

— Compiled by Walt Moody


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$250 Annual Winner

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