It takes a lot of hard-work, skill and determination to win a region title, but when an eighth-grader is able to do it at the high school level, it's nothing short of amazing.

Knox County's Alex Smith started playing tennis three years ago with his family and friends just for fun, he soon realized it was something he could succeed at.

"After playing tennis (with family and friends) I realized how much I enjoyed it and began to focus more on improving my game." Smith said. 

Capturing the region championship didn't come as a surprise to Smith.

"I had set that as my goal and had been working toward that," he said. "I had hoped that it was possible and it has been a blessing to have achieved that goal. It felt great to win for Knox County!"

Smith's mom, Cher, talked about her son's work ethic.

"Words cannot express how happy I am for him," she said. "I am so proud of his hard work and accomplishments in the area of tennis.  Most of all I am so proud that he has learned to set goals and to work hard to reach those goals.

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