Athlete Spotlight: James Wood tennis player Sydney Delawder

delawderSport: Tennis. Position: No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles

Parents: Jennifer and Brad Delawder. Hometown: Paw Paw, W.Va. (moved to Cross Junction six years ago)

What do you love about tennis?: I love that it’s you versus yourself. It’s more of a mental game.

Most memorable moment in tennis: My longest doubles match that I had. My partner [Charlotte Bass] and I fought so long and fought really hard. We beat Hedgesville in a tiebreak, 7-5,

Most embarrassing moment in tennis: When I fell and scraped my knee. I think it was against Kettle Run in a home match. I just kind of tripped over my own feet trying to get to a ball and my knees landed first.

Most difficult moment in tennis: The second match against Sherando when my serves were just not working with me. I got in my own head and that kind of lost me the match. I think if I would have kept a positive mindset I could have gotten out of that with a little bit better of a result.

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: Taylor Swift; I’ve listed to Taylor Swift my whole life, and I even listen to her songs before matches. Jennifer Aniston; I’ve just always admired her acting. I grew up watching “Friends.” And Brad Pitt; “Moneyball” was one one of the first movies I watched with him in it. I just love the way he acted in that movie.

Biggest athletic influence: My dad. He grew up playing multiple sports, and he was always raised my brother and I with such a good mindset through any sports that we’ve ever played.

Favorite teacher: My weight training teacher, Mr. [Jesse] Johnson. He always asks me about my matches and sympathizes with me. It was really easy to talk to him about weightlifting. I’m a big weightlifter. I live lifting weights. I just have so many things in common with him and he gave me lots of little tips that definitely helped me throughout the year.

Favorite athlete: [Tennis player] Carlos Alcaraz

Favorite sports team: West Virginia University Mountaineers

Favorite movie: “Top Gun: Maverick”

Favorite TV show: “Friends”

Favorite song: “Enchanted” by Taylor Swift

Favorite food: Sushi rolls

Worst thing you’ve eaten: An extremely hot chicken wing

Plans after high school: I just want to take it season by season and I hope to progress as a I go. Hopefully, I can play in college. Right now, I want to be an athletic trainer. I started lifting weights when I was 12 years old, and my personal trainer Owen has helped me so much throughout the past four years. He has a big influence on me, and I would love to do what he does one day.

— Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki


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