Current Athlete Of The Month: Joan Harris

David Creed and Kit Noble •

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Senior girls tennis captain Joan Harris. Photo by Kit Noble

Director of Photography: Kit Noble

Over the course of the past four years, very few players have improved and grown in their respective sport more than senior girls tennis captain Joan Harris - who has climbed from the Whaler's first doubles pairing as a freshman all the way to Nantucket's top singles player this spring.

Head coach Luke Thornewill spoke highly of Harris during the team's senior day celebration last week and says that due to Harris' quiet but strong court leadership as well as her on-court skills, she earned the nickname of "The General from her teammates and coaches.

"In her matches she rarely sought advice from the coaches and we rarely offered it as she was well aware of her battle underway and the tactical and technical shifts needed to win," Thornewill said. "And also in this way, her wins were greater."

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Photo by Kit Noble
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Photo by Kit Noble

Thornewill said from the very beginning four years ago, Harris was "an extraordinary Whaler." She also did what all great Whaler athletes do: beat Martha's Vineyard.

Harris beat the Vineyard four years ago as part of a first doubles pairing. It was the first ever win for any girls tennis player/pairing in program history against the Vineyard.

Her success the Vineyarders continued this season as well. Harris won both of her single's matches against the Vineyard this spring to help Nantucket sweep the season series against their island rival. Her accomplishments on the court, as well as her leadership abilities off of it to help take the girls tennis program to new heights played a major role in her being named the Nantucket Current's Athlete of the Month.

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Photo by Kit Noble

The Nantucket Current runs a series where we highlight an athlete on the island once per month – sometimes under unique circumstances, we will feature more than one.

This player doesn’t always need to be the superstar or flashy athlete. It can be someone whose greatest contributions come when no one else is looking or be someone whose impact is substantial during the game but wildly under-appreciated by the common spectator.

In this case, the player is one who has shown tremendous growth and encapsulates the maturation of the girls tennis program under Thornewill, assistant head coach Mark Gerardi, and assistant head coach Tina Hoskins.

If anyone has nominations they'd like to make moving forward, please email your suggestion to

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Photo by Kit Noble
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