Taylor Kingston has tennis running through her veins. It’s in her blood. According to Champlain Valley Union head girls tennis coach Amy deGroot, “Tennis runs deep in Taylor’s DNA. Her great-great-grandmother was Hazel Wightman, a player who relied heavily on her volley to dominate women’s tennis before World War I, and who was known for her great sportsmanship. These are two characteristics that Taylor has brought to our team. When she plays doubles she has a great sense of where to place her volleys. Besides her great work on the court, Taylor adds a wonderful sense of spirit and a special ‘Taylor touch’ of humor to the team.”
Born on May 13, 1993 and raised in Charlotte, Kingston’s family includes parents, Heather and Chris, a step-father named Chuck, older sister Lindsay, a Middlebury College student, younger sister, Mackenzie, a CVU sophomore, a black Lab called Caviar, a yellow Lab named Brie, and two cats Sparticus and Peppercorn.
“As soon as I could hold I tennis racquet I did,” Kingston responded in answer to a question. “I played every summer. I played at Quarry Hill. And I went to tennis camps,” added Kingston who credits her mother for her interest in the sport. “My mother is obsessed with tennis. She plays all the time. That’s probably because my great-great-grandmother was a famous tennis player. She won seven Grand Slam titles and was an Olympic gold medalist in women’s doubles and mixed doubles.”
Kingston agrees with coach deGroot, “I am positive, upbeat, and funny. I have a lot of spirit.” And that spirit extends beyond the tennis courts. “I was named the No. 1 fan of the CVU girls soccer team. It meant everything to me for the soccer team to win a state championship. It’s been a great senior year,” she said wistfully.
You can say that again. Last Wednesday afternoon the girls tennis team also won a state championship. In fact, it won its sixth state championship in nine years and claimed its second perfect season in three years. Obviously CVU has a girls tennis dynasty of its own.
I don’t want to give the impression that Kingston is only about the tennis. She’s not. A certified firefighter since April, Kingston is a volunteer for the Charlotte Volunteer Fire and Rescue. “Becoming a certified firefighter is my greatest achievement,” Kingston offered. “I did it as my Grad Challenge project. It took six months of training. It was really challenging. I wasn’t sure I could do it all. But after I went on my first call, about five weeks ago, and I got to honk the horn, hold the hose, and everything…I was hooked.”
Kingston is also hooked on fashion, photography, and jewelry making. The top three areas of study she will pursue next year at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Ga. “It’s a really good school,” Kingston said by way of an explanation. “I’m chasing my dreams.”
And so she should. Kingston appears ready to combine her fashion sense, indomitable spirit, and upbeat personality to create a legacy of her own – one great-great-grandma Wightman would be proud of.