Golden Hawks' duo in harmony on and off tennis court

Reese Parks and Nolan Thibert didn't need long to develop chemistry on the tennis court.

Nolan Thibert of Chatham-Kent hits a return during the mixed doubles final at the LKSSAA tennis championship at the Chatham Tennis Club in Chatham, Ont., on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. Mark Malone/Chatham Daily News/Postmedia Network

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Reese Parks and Nolan Thibert didn’t need long to develop chemistry on the tennis court.

It helps they’ve got a good rapport off the court, too.

The dating duo won the mixed doubles title at the LKSSAA championship Tuesday at the Chatham Tennis Club.

This is the first tennis season together for the Grade 12 classmates at Chatham-Kent Secondary School.

They made their tournament debut last week with a third-place finish at the South Region meet.

“We’re more confident today than we were at Kent last week,” Parks said. “We were a little shaky, but now we’ve got it going, so it’s good.”

Parks and Thibert beat McGregor’s Olivia Roesch and Liam Cook 8-5 in the LKSSAA final.

“We came to the net today,” Parks said. “We tried that a bit. We were a little scared to do that before.”

Added Thibert: “Last week, we couldn’t hit a ground stroke. We were just chipping it. This week, we were actually hitting stuff.”

Parks was the LKSSAA girls’ singles runner-up last year and placed fourth at SWOSSAA, but she didn’t want to play singles again.

Thibert was third with his brother Evan in LKSSAA boys’ doubles in 2017. He didn’t play last year. He considered sitting out this season, too, before choosing to play at the last minute.

“I got him to come out,” Parks said. “I needed a partner.”

Ursuline won the team title with 22 points, Chatham-Kent was second with 16 and Northern was third with 11.

Simon Brecka of Ursuline won the boys’ singles final 8-1 over Blake Brand of Great Lakes.

Racquel Martin of Wallaceburg won the girls’ singles final 8-0 over Estella Febles Ramos of Ridgetown.

Natasha Anderson and Hannah Wheeler of Pain Court beat Ashlea Farmer and Kirby MacKinnon of Chatham-Kent 8-5 in the girls’ doubles final.

Ethan Jones and Chandler Haagsma of Northern beat Ursuline’s Tom Bondy and Brayden DeGelas 8-1 in the boys’ doubles final.

The top four in each division qualified for the SWOSSAA championship Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the Sarnia Tennis Club and Sarnia Riding Club.

Olivia Lozon of Ursuline was third in girls’ singles.

Stefan Borovicanin of Chatham-Kent was third in boys’ singles and Ridgetown’s Ian Campbell was fourth.

Gillian Wells and Mary Bondy of Ursuline were third in girls’ doubles.

Samantha Lozon and Sebastian Stubberfield of Ursuline were third in mixed doubles.

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