SCHOOL: Beyer High
Never miss a local story.
ON THE COURT: The Bee’s Girls Tennis Player of the Year award is moving down the hall. Symone Jacques picked up where her older sister, Jacqueline, left off — with a Modesto Metro Conference MVP, Sac-Joaquin Section tournament appearance and Bee player of the year award.
“Of course, there is a little underlying pressure there, but my sister has always supported me,” Symone, 15, said. “Over the next three years I’ll try to match my sister’s accomplishments, maybe even do better.”
The Beyer freshman made a sparkling debut. She went undefeated during the MMC’s regular season and 16-2 overall, with her only local loss to Gregori’s Lorel Rodriguez in the MMC Tournament’s championship match. Symone rebounded to win her first-round match at the Division 1 individual tournament.
“Symone came in and I saw a lot of the same things I saw with Jackie,” said Mark Gonzales, Beyer’s second-year coach. “ It’s her ability to stay focused, to just hit those strokes, and that continuous drive and want to win. I don’t see that much with players anymore — that feeling that they have to win.”
OFF THE COURT: Symone is a 4.0 student, despite a heavy course load. She’s enrolled in AP Human Geography and three pre-AP classes.
But the icing on the cake is, well, the icing on the cake. Symone took cooking classes over the summer and put her new-found talents to work over the holiday. She helped prepare the Christmas feast, from the glazed ham to the desserts (carrot cake, cupcakes).
“I like making cupcakes and cakes,” she said. “I’ve had some professional help on how to ice cakes and make it look presentable, not like some little girl made it.”
LOOKING AHEAD: Symone Jacques has resumed lessons with tennis coach Phong Le with the hopes of taking her game up a level. After blitzing the MMC in match play, complacency set in during the year-end tournament. And Rodriguez, a junior from Gregori, delivered the straight-sets upset.
“I think it was an eye-opener for her,” Gonzales said. “That loss showed her that she wasn’t invincible.”
Symone vows to erase that black mark next fall.
“That loss was a little harsh. It messed up my mojo a little bit,” she said. “Next year’s goal is to be the outright MMC champion.”
QUOTABLE: "She’s a fighter and that makes her different than other girls around town. It’s nice to have an older sister that is also good. It makes you look up and say, ‘I want to be better than her.’ They really compete with each other like siblings do, except they have more rivalry than other sisters.” — Phong Le, Jacques’ private coach