Northeast tennis lands Booneville trio

By NEMCC Media Relations

BOONEVILLE – Northeast Mississippi Community College head tennis coach Ben Shappley has added three local standouts to his 2013-14 signing class.

Booneville’s Noah Wright, Hannah Billingsley and Erica Whitten all agreed to become Tiger and Lady Tiger tennis players during a ceremony at the Booneville-based college on Wednesday, May 8.

Billingsley and Whitten are three-time Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Division 1-3A girl’s doubles runner-ups and have participated in the Class 3A State Tennis Championships on three different occasions.

Wright is a two-time Division 1-3A boy’s singles champion and has had the honor of playing in the Class 3A State Tennis Championships in two different years.

Wright, Billingsley and Whitten are all scheduled to compete in the Class 3A State Tennis Championships on Tuesday, May 14 at the Ridgeland Tennis Center in Ridgeland.

Under the direction of Mark Cartwright, Wright has transformed into the third-best Class 3A men’s tennis player in the state.

Wright was seeded as the third-highest Class 3A tennis player in the state when coaches met the seed players for the individual portion of the state tennis championships.

Billingsley and Whitten were seeded in the Top 15 in the state of Mississippi the girl’s doubles event.

With the addition of Wright, Billingsley and Whitten, Shappley has now signed five incoming freshmen to the 2013-14 signing class. Shappley scored the MHSAA’s top Class 4A player in the state in Joseph Shidler and also picked up Olive Branch’s Lindsey Clark during a trek through DeSoto County.