2017 Education Scholarship Winners
The Mississippi Tennis Association is proud to announce that the recipients of the 2017 educational scholarships are Kendall Causey of Jackson and James Tyler Santucci, of Chatham. Now in its seventeenth year, the program awards scholarships each year to a deserving young man and woman based on their accomplishments in the classroom, on the tennis court, and in the community.
Kendall, the daughter of Rachel and Ken Causey of Jackson, is a member of the 2017 graduating class of Jackson Preparatory School, where she has excelled as an athlete and a scholar. Her extracurricular activities have included the Film Club, the Spanish Club, the Service Club, the Patriot League, and Young Life Service Club. She received an award for her Community Service, which included volunteering for Jackson Prep Global Leadership program and Madison Ark Animal Shelter. She is a member of Jackson Symphony Sub-Debs and was selected a class favorite by her peers. A member of the Highlands Presbyterian Church youth group, she participated in a mission trip to the Yakama Indian Reservation in Yakama, Washington. Kendall has done all this while maintaining an A average in her academics. Her tennis career began when she enrolled in Dave Randall’s mini tennis class at the age of 4. Since that time, Kendall has participated in USTA programs like Junior Team Tennis and in junior tournaments at both the state and Southern level. A testimony to how far Kendall has come as a tennis player is evident in the fact that in both 2016 and 2017, she received a wild card to play in the Professional Women’s Challenger Tournament at River Hills. Her current ranking is #3 in Mississippi and #180 in the South. In 2015 the Causey family was chosen by the MTA as the Mississippi Tennis Family of the Year. Kendall says that she cannot imagine life without tennis. At Ole Miss this fall, she will pursue a degree in business management and, at the same time, find ways to include tennis in her daily routine.
Tyler Santucci, the son of Rebecca and Charlie Steele and Louis Santucci, is currently a senior at St. Joseph High School in Greenville, graduating in May. Throughout high school, he has been listed on the A/B honor roll. He is a member of the Junior National and National Honor Society and is a Mississippi Scholar Graduate. His community service included doing yard work for the elderly, serving as a mentor in the Carrie Stern Mentor Reading program, and volunteering with the Delta Cotton Bells Cancer Benefit Tennis Tournament. This young athlete excelled in both tennis and soccer, but tennis became his first love. He worked hard to become a competitive player because he had to catch up to the players who started when they were five and six since he didn’t start until he was ten! This young athlete began playing on the high school tennis team in the sixth grade and won his first MVP award. He has been a main factor in leading the St. Joe tennis team to four straight MAIS state team championships. In his senior year, Tyler once again won the #2 Boys’ Singles event. He has been named tennis Player of the Week by the Delta Democrat Times several times over the course of his high school career. Tyler says that his twin brother Tres is his favorite doubles partner because they know each other so well, and they share many tournament victories. This past spring he started playing league tennis with a 4.0 Adult Men’s team which advanced to the national tournament in Rancho Mirage, California. He went undefeated in singles in that event. He is looking forward to playing at Delta State in the fall, where he will enroll in the Aviation program.