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Homecoming In Tucson

March 26, 2009 10:43 AM
Daugther Ashleigh, Laura Smith, Son Michael
Laura talking with her kids
TUCSON, Ariz. - It is typically a parent’s role to support their children from the sidelines of a sporting event. However, Laura Smith feels lucky to have the constant encouragement of her children during her matches. Regardless of where or when Laura’s matches take place, her children make every effort to be there. Ashleigh, 15 years-old and 12 year-old Michael have been as dedicated to supporting their Mother as she has been to improving her tennis game.

This week was no exception as the three traveled cross country from Virginia to Tucson to the USTA League presented by Chrysler 4.5 Adult League National Championships.

Laura, captain of the Mid-Atlantic team, is competing in her third National Championship. It also happens to be her children’s third trip as well. In 2004, the family was here in Tucson, and in 2006 the Smith’s traveled to Hawaii. Even the earthquake that shook the tournament that year didn’t deter Ashleigh and Michael from making the trip this year.

“We get out of school,” Michael said with a grin.

Ashleigh added, “We just like to watch her play.”

This year was a slightly tougher decision for Ashleigh. After making the travel arrangements, the family realized it was Homecoming Weekend at Ashleigh’s high school. She briefly weighed her options of attending the Friday football game and Saturday night dance, but ultimately decided to join her Mother and Michael in Tucson.

“Whoever is around and able to attend cheers the other one on,” said Laura of her family supporting one another. “They’re my good luck charms.”

The Smith’s bond has rubbed off on the rest of the squad as the team’s entourage expanded to 15 people this weekend. The cheering section helped rally the Mid-Atlantic over New England Friday morning with a 3-2 victory. With her husband unable to attend this year, Laura hopes that her children’s presence and the team’s additional support will bring good luck as she and her team have been runners-up their two previous appearances at Nationals.

“Even before the schedule was out, we marked off the dates on our calendars,” said Smith of her team’s attitude to reach Nationals. “Talk like it’s going to happen and it will.”

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