Athlete of the Week: Berkey brings soccer skill to tennis

Myrtle Beach High tennis standout Rachel Berkey finished her freshman season as the No. 12 ranked player on the team. She recently closed out her sophomore season as the Lady Seahawks No. 1 singles and doubles.

Her rapid ascent up the Lady Seahawks’ ladder saw her go 18-2 as Myrtle Beach’s No. 2 singles player all season. But on the bus ride to Hilton Head for the Lower State Final, she learned that regular No. 1 Jessie Dumas was sick and would be unable to play.

“I know if I could have put a heart meter on her she would have been scared, but she certainly didn’t show it,” said Myrtle Beach tennis coach Jeri Himmelsbach. “She said, ‘Yes ma’am, I’ll do whatever it takes to help the team.’ That’s the kind of kid she is. She cares about her teammates and they all admire her.”

Himmelsbach, who also coaches the JV soccer team, was familiar with Berkey’s athleticism and work ethic on the soccer pitch. The striker was already making a name for herself in soccer when she decided to give up basketball to focus on tennis, a sport she picked up at an early age from her family but didn’t take seriously until recently.

“I played tennis at the Dunes Club and for Will Bull at Prestwick, but I really wanted to play for the school team,” said Berkey, the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week. “I was No. 16 as an eight-grader and No. 12 as a freshman, then No. 2 this year. I just like playing tennis and I want to keep getting better.”

Himmelsbach wasn’t a bit surprised by Berkey’s quick success in tennis after seeing her make strides in soccer. Berkey was a big reason why Myrtle Beach won the Region 7-3A championship and advanced one step from the state finals.

“She is the total package,” Himmelsbach said. “She’s a great player, person and student. She is so fast and athletics and she has a sense of the game you can’t teach. She’s responsible, friendly and a good teammate. She will do anything I ask her to do.”

That includes a field promotion on the bus trip to Hilton Head, when Himmelsbach informed Berkey she would be going up against one of the top seniors in the state at No. 1 singles and playing No. 1 doubles with a new partner for the first time this year.

“We didn’t find out until we were on the way down, but it was OK,” Berkey said of the 5-1 loss in the Lower State Final. “I think it put a little more pressure on everybody because we all had to move up and face a tougher player, but it was a challenge and it was fun.”

It’s that competitive spirit that has Himmelsbach licking her chops at the thought of having Berkey back on the soccer pitch and tennis court for years to come.

“Rachel is a wonderful person to be around and she’s an inspiration to her teammates,” she said. “I’m blessed to have her in soccer and tennis. She has proved so much these past two years that I’m excited to see how much better she can get.”

Photo by Joel Beachum

Comments

comments

Coastal weathers storm, Cajuns in Sun Belt debut

Coastal weathers storm, Cajuns in Sun Belt debutOn the road for 12-straight days, which included a 10-day [more]

No. 2 Tigers take care of business, top Georgia Tech

No. 2 Tigers take care of business, top Georgia TechThe No. 2 Clemson football team opened 2018 ACC play [more]

Gamecocks bounce back from week off, beat Vandy

Gamecocks bounce back from week off, beat VandyJake Bentley threw for 261 yards and a touchdown, and [more]

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on road

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on roadThe Coastal Carolina men's soccer team had not played another [more]

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lights

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lightsHurricane Florence 2, Horry County Schools 0. That appears to be [more]

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of storm

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of stormMyrtle Beach area golf courses, spared the worst of Hurricane [more]

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloat

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloatThe SCHSL's executive committee voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the [more]

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awards

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awardsMyrtle Beach Pelicans infielder Jared Young was named the Chicago [more]

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane Florence

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane FlorenceJust four days removed and 142 miles away from its [more]

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting class

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting classFor the first time in Coastal Carolina baseball program history, [more]

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curve

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curveIn response to the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence and [more]

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill Classic

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill ClassicCoast FA returned to the beach with five championship and [more]

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meet

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meetThe Carolina Forest boys finished second and the Myrtle Beach [more]

Chants explode in second half to cruise past Blazers

Chants explode in second half to cruise past BlazersCoastal Carolina football used a number of big offensive plays [more]

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat Braves

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat BravesThe No. 4-ranked Myrtle Beach football team celebrated Neon Night [more]

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized Sharks

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized SharksWithout raising his voice, without screaming his face red or [more]

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeaten

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeatenJackson Weatherwax knew he had the ball. Late in the fourth [more]

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless* Hartsville 35, Conway 0: The Tigers (0-4) remained winless [more]

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off Braves

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off BravesThe three-time reigning state champion St. James girls golf team [more]

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. Blazers

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. BlazersThe Coastal Carolina football team will open up its 2018 [more]

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over Bruins

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over BruinsThe Conway High volleyball team improved to 6-0 Thursday by [more]

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settle

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settleMyrtle Beach junior quarterback Luke Doty has had this week's [more]

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over Aynor

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over AynorThe Carolina Forest girls tennis team served up a victory [more]

Chants move up in polls after acing UAB tourney

Chants move up in polls after acing UAB tourneyAfter posting back-to-back shutouts, Coastal Carolina's Chris Datallo has been [more]

Golf: Sharks claim second place at Palmetto Preview

Golf: Sharks claim second place at Palmetto PreviewThe three-time defending state champion St. James girls golf team [more]

Coastal weathers storm, Cajuns in Sun Belt debut

Coastal weathers storm, Cajuns in Sun Belt debutOn the road for 12-straight days, which included a 10-day [more]

No. 2 Tigers take care of business, top Georgia Tech

No. 2 Tigers take care of business, top Georgia TechThe No. 2 Clemson football team opened 2018 ACC play [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach