Bryant signs scholarship with Faulkner State
by Wesley Sinor
Mar 03, 2012 | 3033 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pell City senior Martin Bryant, seated center, signed a tennis scholarship with Faulkner State Community College. Seated with Bryant are his parents Vaughan and Christa Bryant. Standing, from left, are Pell City coach David Shores, Martin’s sister Meredith Bryant, coaches Jake Hibbs and Sarah Stewart, grandparents Gary and Barbara Kendrick, Principal Helen Bettinger, Faulkner State Coach Ritchie Dulaney, and Superintendent Bobby Hathcock. Gary Hanner
Pell City senior Martin Bryant, seated center, signed a tennis scholarship with Faulkner State Community College. Seated with Bryant are his parents Vaughan and Christa Bryant. Standing, from left, are Pell City coach David Shores, Martin’s sister Meredith Bryant, coaches Jake Hibbs and Sarah Stewart, grandparents Gary and Barbara Kendrick, Principal Helen Bettinger, Faulkner State Coach Ritchie Dulaney, and Superintendent Bobby Hathcock. Gary Hanner
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Pell City’s Martin Bryant signed a full tennis scholarship to Faulkner State at the Pell City Center Thursday.

“It was nerve-racking but exciting,” Bryant said. “I hope I can bring motivation and dedication just like I have in Pell City. They run a tight ship with the team and that’s what I’m looking for.”

Bryant said his United States Tennis Association coach Sarah Stewart knew the Faulkner State head coach Ritchie Dulaney and took him to the campus in Bay Minette, where the offer was made in September of last year.

“[Dulaney] watched me play and gave me the scholarship while I was down there,” Bryant said. “I played with a couple team members down there. They were nice guys. One was the president of the student body, so that was pretty cool.”

Bryant plans to study marketing while playing for the Sun Chiefs. He said he like the small campus, which is just a short drive from the Gulf Shores beaches.

Stewart has been coaching Bryant for five and a half years, taking her students to tournaments in and out of state on a regular basis. Bryant said Stewart is the main reason he got into competitive tennis.

“He started very late for a tennis player,” Stewart said. “You have to start early if you want to go to college and compete. To be able to do this and have this opportunity is something you don’t see a lot. I’m very proud of him.”

Stewart said Bryant’s biggest advantage is his character.

“You’re not going to meet a better kid that Martin Bryant,” Stewart said. “[Dulaney] knows that and that’s the type of player she’s trying to recruit. I think he’s going to step in at that level and be a leader.”

With matches against Donoho, Hewitt-Trussville and Sylacauga, Bryant currently holds a 1-2 singles record and a 2-1 doubles record.

He plays on Court 1 in doubles with Arizona Shafer.

“We started at the same time and have been doubles partners since freshman year,” Bryant said. “We’re really intent on making it to state.”

Contact Wesley Sinor at wsinor@dailyhome.com and follow him on Twitter @DailyHomeSports.