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Fisher, king of Chiefs tennis

With his help, the Chamberlain team has climbed to third place. The 16-year-old is also a stellar student.

By TERRY JONES

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 6, 2001


For the past two seasons, Chamberlain junior Carl Fisher has been the No. 1 player for the Chiefs boys tennis team and has gone undefeated in individual singles competition in Hillsborough County.

Although the Chiefs are not tradition-rich in boys tennis, Fisher has helped the team overcome some fierce competitors. In his sophomore season, Chamberlain finished fourth in district play behind Wharton, Plant and King high schools.

With Fisher's help and encouragement this season, the Chiefs climbed to third place.

But Fisher suffered his first area loss in districts, and because his team didn't place in the top two, he missed out on a trip to the state tournament. Only the top two teams, top singles player and top doubles team qualify for the state tournament from each district.

"I think our team did well this season and should do better next season," Fisher said. "There are a lot of top-quality tennis players in our area and many more around the state, but we have a team that is improving. I train in tennis every week on the court, plus I run and lift weights to stay in shape."

The 16-year-old Old Carrollwood resident has been playing competitively for the past five years. He is ranked 36th in Florida by the United States Tennis Association.

Tennis isn't the only activity consuming the student-athlete's time.

He carries a 4.0 grade-point average and takes college courses at Hillsborough Community College.

He is also a musician. As a member of the Tampa Bay Youth Orchestra, he plays cello and the piano. He helped organize a string quartet that often plays for weddings and other special occasions in the area. Other members of the quartet are friends Xavier Johnson on the viola, plus Robby Cartwright and Jason Chong on violins.

Between gigs, Fisher's training schedule is rigorous.

For two hours each Monday, Wednesday and Friday he practices at the Tampa Racquet Club. On weekends he either runs and lifts weights or travels to USTA tournaments.

"My primary tennis goal is to earn a scholarship to play on the college level," he said. "Next year I would love to help my team win districts and move into the top 40 USTA state rankings for 18s."

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