Posted: Tuesday, 09 July 2013 6:43PM

1 Awards: Johnson and Lawson are a force on the court



Springfield, Mo. (OzarksSportsZone.com)  -- Video Platform Video Management Video Solutions Video Player


With 15 years of combined tennis experience, three years as a doubles team and twelve years of being best friends, Samantha Johnson and Avery Lawson were destined to have a memorable senior season on the court for the Forsyth  Panthers.

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“We grew closer this last season, and we kicked some butt,” Johnson said.  “It was our last year and we wanted to end on a good note.”

After wrapping up their best regular season yet with a record of 28-5, they qualified for their second consecutive trip to the Class 1 State Doubles Tournament. They were more relaxed than they were when in 2011, and it showed in as they secured a fourth place finish.

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“It was our second time so we knew what to expect,” Johnson said. “We knew we had to stay focused, but we were far more comfortable and relaxed.”

One of the biggest keys  to Johnson and Lawson’s game is their close relationship. 

“We’ve been best friends since 1st grade,” said Lawson. “We know each other and know what each other were good at.”

Lawson was the first to start playing the game in 5th grade.

“(Forsyth head coach Scott Harrison) introduced me to it in 5th grade,” Lawson said. “I didn’t want to play basketball  in high school, so I gave tennis a shot.”

As best friends do, it didn’t take long for Lawson to recruit Johnson to join her.

“Avery got me into tennis in 6th grade,” Johnson said. “We went and played with Coach Harrison and I liked it, and it convinced me to give it a shot.”

The girls chose to attend Forsyth over Bradleyville for high school in order to play for Coach Harrison. They were paired together as a doubles team. They found that while their styles were different, they actually complemented each other well in a doubles setting.

She was consistent at hitting her spots and I was the pick-up person,” Lawson said. “We were opposite, but we played really well together.”

The duo had a breakout year in 2011. One of the highlights of the season was beating rival Branson en route to their first trip to state. They had a great experience at the tournament and ultimately clinched a 7th place finish.

Johnson will continue playing tennis for Missouri Valley next year.

“I’ve known I wanted to play in college since finding my groove in high school,” Johnson said. “I just love the competition and I’m excited to continue playing.”

Lawson will attend College of the Ozarks for academics, but says she will keep playing recreationally.

Getting to know Samantha Johnson
Favorite athlete? Novak Djokavic
Pregame superstitions? Not really. But we do stop and get snacks before a game. Like healthy bars.
Most disliked athlete? Maria Sharapova. She grunts too much. Haha
Favorite movie? Pitch perfect
Favorite musical artist? Colbie Caillet
Favorite actor? Will Smith
Favorite athletic memory? Going to state a getting to stand on the podium when ee got 4th in state
Song on your iPod you are ashamed of? I want candy by Aaron Carter
Hidden talent? I love to sing

Getting to know Avery Lawson
Favorite athlete? Serena Williams
Favorite team? New York Yankees
Pregame superstitions? Tebowing
Most disliked athlete? Brett Favree
Favorite movie? This Means War
Favorite musical artist? He Is We/ Ellie Golding
Favorite actor? Johnny Depp
Favorite athletic memory? Beating Branson
Song on your iPod you are ashamed of? I want candy by Aaron Carter
Hidden talent? Singing

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Topics : 1 AwardsForsythWomen's Tennis
People : Avery LawsonSamantha Johnson
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