By day Derek Dickey is a computer programmer at Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina. After work he is the new head coach of both the boy’s and girl’s tennis programs at Lexington High School.
Coach Dickey is no stranger to the tennis courts at Lexington. A 2008 LHS grad, Derek was a varsity starter for the Wildcats from 7th grade through his senior year. In each of those six seasons, his team played for a state championship and won three, in 2004, ’05, and ’06. He currently holds the highest career win total of any male or female tennis player in Lexington history. He was a 2-time Region Player of the Year, 3-time All-Area, 2-time All-State and 1-time All-Area Player of the Year. Derek went on to play Division 1 tennis at The Citadel, where he was a 4-year starter.
“It is an honor to take over the traditionally strong Lexington tennis program. I am thankful to the Athletic Department and the school for the opportunity. I look forward to getting this team back in the competition for state championships, hopefully soon.”
Up first for Coach Dickey is the girl’s season this fall. Lady Wildcat Tennis has been a perennial power but has yet to play to a state title match. They have won ten Region championships in school history, in ’92, ’02, ’04, ’05, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, and ’14. In the past 12 seasons, Lexington has advanced to the final 8 in the state tournament three times and to the final 4 nine times. Last year in the round of 8, the Wildcats lost 4-2 to Wando, who would go on to beat Bluffton (5-1) and Boiling Springs (5-1) for the state championship.
The team this year is young with only two returners from last year. Coach commented that, “this will be a rebuilding year. We have some good young players however, and if they have the right mindset, I think we have the ability to surprise some people.”
The Lady Wildcats will start the regular season with three road matches, at South Aiken on August 29, at Aiken on August 31, and a Region match at Spring Valley on September 6.
The 2016 Varsity roster includes Callie Lewis, Rebecca Bryan, Caroline Goodman, Claudia Santillan-Vazquez, Reet Verma, Hannah Boyer, Maryann Garvin, Rohita Patil, Joanna Taylor, Ashlynn Dorroh, Gracen Sharpe, and Emma Whetsell.