Miller mom and son win 12U mixed doubles title at McDonald's Family Classic
At 10 years old and 4 feet, 3 inches tall, Brandon Miller is already a beast at the net.
He makes the most of his small frame, extending his right arm high to smash high-velocity shots past opponents on the tennis court.
Just imagine how tough he’ll be when he grows a little.
“He’s a little height-impaired right now,” joked his mom and doubles partner, Sandra.
His tennis game is in no way impaired, though. And neither is mom’s.
With a 6-1, 6-2 win over Tina and Kamryn Peltier at the McDonald’s Family Summer Tennis Classic on Saturday, the Millers polished off a title in the 12U mixed-doubles division.
A title didn’t come as easily as the score suggests against the Peltiers, whose crisp play made for some long volleys on a hot summer evening at the Elliott Tennis Center.
But when the going got tough, the Millers turned to their vicious forehand shot. Both mom and son wield a powerful racket.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Tina Peltier, the mother of 11-year-old Kamryn. “They came out with those forehands.”
Tennis is the Millers’ game. Long before Brandon began playing what he terms “garage-door tennis” at home, smacking foam balls off, well, the garage door, Mom was honing her game as a youngster. Sandra, now a judge in Delta, grew up in Amarillo, Texas, and played one year in college at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
These days, they play together, although Brandon plans on trying singles in a tournament for the first time in a couple of weeks at the Community Hospital Junior Tennis Tournament.
Until then, mom makes a great tennis partner.
“My mom and I have practiced a long time together, so we know when to move and stuff,” Brandon said.
“We’re the tennis players in the family,” Sandra said. “We can’t get dad and older brothers and sisters to play.”
The Peltiers, too, have a long history with the game.
Kamryn’s been playing since she was about 6 years old, and Tina played all of her life before taking a break to raise her kids.
“Now we’re out playing together,” Tina said, “so it’s a lot of fun.”
That’s what the McDonald’s Family Summer Tennis Classic, a fundraiser for local high school tennis programs, is all about — fun. And sportsmanship is the cornerstone of having fun, said Sandra Miller, who dished out praise to her son and the Peltiers all match long.
“It’s the difference between whether you have fun or not,” she said, glancing at her son. “I’m hoping he’ll play for a lifetime, and the relationships with people is what keeps you playing, not whether or not you hit that down-the-line backhand.”
Bridgetts win mother-daughter title
The Millers weren’t the only champions to be crowned Saturday. In the mother-daughter doubles bracket, Arliss and Abby Bridgett outlasted Sandy Perea and Hannah Keeling in the title match.
After dropping the first set 4-7, the Bridgetts stormed back to win 6-3 in the second set and 17-15 in a marathon tiebreaker.