Walker’s Colby Hopper signs with Gadsden State
by Johnathan Bentley
May 20, 2013 | 1249 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Colby Hopper
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One state championship and four trips to the State Tennis Tournament — Walker’s Colby Hopper has a strong high school resume.

He will look to add to that list as a member of the Gadsden State Community College squad.

Hopper signed with the school earlier this month.

“He’s been the backbone of the team,” Walker tennis coach DJ Emerson said of his No. 1 player. “He really stepped up his leadership this year. He’s also a phenomenal player. He’s got all the tools.”

Hopper, who was part of Walker’s championship team as a freshman in 2010, helped guide the Vikings to the State Tennis Tournament at again this season.

Walker finished fourth as a team in Decatur earlier this month. That was after an 8th-place finish in 2012.

Lucas McCullar and Joseph Harris were also seniors on this year’s team.

“I’m thankful that I could play here. It’s been great. We made state every year” Hopper said of his time at Walker.

Hopper selected Gadsden over two Mississippi schools — Itawamba Community College and Meridian Community College.

“I really liked the campus. We were there a month or two ago. I liked the atmosphere,” said Hopper, who credited Musgrove County Club professional Grant Rolley for his success.

“I remember him telling me to run during practice. He had us doing laps. I thought it was a waste of time, but it wasn’t. I wouldn’t be here without him.”

Gadsden State coach Buster Stewart heard about Hopper through Rolley.

“I’m always looking for talent because we turn over half our team every year,” Stewart said. “I’m also looking for kids I believe have good character and are successful in the classroom.”

Stewart is in his 9th year at the school. “In my previous eight years, we’ve been ranked in the top 10 academically six times and our tennis team has been ranked in the top 20 six times,” he added.