Previous varsity girls’ tennis coach swings into action as JV coach for 2018 season

Coach Clayton steps down as the girls varsity tennis coach, and moves into coaching Jv girls tennis.


Jules Cisco

The JV girls’ tennis team huddles up during their fall 2017 season.

Tennis coach Clayton Johnson has been a long term coach for both boys’ and girls’ varsity teams. However, after coaching the girls’ varsity team through season outcomes ranging from last year’s 4-12 record to their 2014 CIF achievement, Coach Clayton has chosen a change of course.

After seven years of coaching girls’ varsity, Coach Clayton has announced that he will not be returning as the girls’ varsity coach for the 2018 fall season. Instead, he will be co-coaching JV girls’ tennis with previous JV coach, Edward Kardas. Coach Clayton and athletics director Amanda Waters have found a replacement for varsity coach: Isa Grimes.

“When I decided to give up my duties of coaching varsity, both myself and Mrs. Waters wanted to make sure the program was in good hands,” Coach Clayton said. “We both had a good understanding on how Carlsbad students function, and I think they will be in great hands. I know we have a solid group returning for varsity and a very good core group returning for JV.”

Clayton believes in the team’s ability to do well next season even without him as a coach. Over the years, Coach Clayton has noticed that different teams have their own challenges. Even still, he has been grateful for passion that the players have shown not only on the court, but also in the classroom.  

“All kids are different in the fact that they learn in different ways, but the biggest thing I like the most is that both the boys’ and girls’ teams work very hard, both academically and on the court,” Coach Clayton said. “I can’t appreciate that enough. I was just too busy with things in my life, and I felt I wasn’t able to give my full attention the program needed.”

With new coaches on the court, the students may have to adapt to new coaching styles. JV tennis player sophomore Shayda Moezzi has reflected on her positive experience with the tennis team, as well as improvements she would like to see in future seasons.

“When we get to practice, [Clayton] starts practice right away and doesn’t waste any time,” Moezzi said. “Something I wish he focused more on is technique while we were playing. We always practiced with each other [in] practice matches [and] never really focused on technique for serving or backhands.”

Technique is a significant part of tennis, and a lack of focus on that left players like Moezzi feeling unprepared for matches. Despite the intricacies of practice, varsity tennis player sophomore Shayla Eslampour explains the team stability she has felt on varsity and how that may help with the necessary readjustments.

“I am uncertain about the future, though I have faith in our returning team,” Eslampour said. “This past year we were all pretty independent, and I feel like the juniors are really smart, and they can figure out what to do [and] how to keep [the team] organized.”

Coach Clayton is excited to bring his expertise and his experiences from varsity to these new and ready-minded players.   

“I think it allows me to stay with the program I love,” Coach Clayton said. “I look forward to having the opportunity to see these kids grow and getting back to the basics [by] prepping the girls for moving up to varsity.”