Oklahoma high school senior spotlight: Kyler Melton left his mark on Deer Creek tennis program
EDMOND — Kyler Melton was devastated.
After learning the high school tennis season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, Melton began to think about everything he was going to miss.
“It was my senior year,” the Deer Creek standout said. “We had a completely new team this year, and I was looking to make memories with them.”
Although Melton’s senior season ended with disappointment, he leaves Deer Creek knowing he left his mark on the program.
Melton and his doubles partner, Matthew Ivester, won the No. 2 doubles state title in Class 6A last year, the Antlers’ first tennis championship of any kind.
With Ivester graduating from high school last year, Melton was competing with a new partner, Carlos Perez.
Perez is a senior foreign exchange student from Spain and was one of many new faces for Deer Creek, which lost five players from last year’s team.
Melton, who planned to compete in some singles tournaments this year, embraced his role as a mentor to the new players.
“I was going to lead the team,” Melton said. “It was all younger guys who had never been on varsity before. I was looking forward to taking them to tournaments and basically have that leadership role.”
Melton began playing tennis when he was 10.
His mom played at UCO, where she met Melton’s father, who was on the baseball team.
Melton played basketball until his freshman year. He quit the sport to focus on tennis and wanted to earn a college scholarship.
Melton improved his game throughout high school, and his hard work paid off. He signed with Oklahoma Baptist and is thrilled to continue his career.
Unlike many high school seniors who played spring sports, Melton isn’t done competing.
“I’m glad that it didn’t end,” he said. “If I was just playing high school, it would have just ended. … I’m glad I’m going to get four more years of tennis. I’m looking forward to meeting my new teammates.”
Know of a high school senior athlete we should highlight? Tell us why at NICsportsdesk@oklahoman.com.