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Men's Tennis Inks Cowden

South African will enroll in January and play this spring

November 8, 2006 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee head coach Dale Short announced the signing of Richard Cowden to scholarship papers for the men's tennis program on Wednesday. Cowden will enroll in January and compete this season for the Blue Raiders.

Cowden, a native of Durban, South Africa, attends Westville Boys High School and will graduate in December. He went to Sarnia Primary School as well.

Cowden was a First Team All-Area selection at Westville the last four years, serving as captain for two of his seasons. He iss ranked sixth in singles and first in doubles in the U18 age group and second in singles and fifth in doubles in the U23 age group.

Cowden has competed for the Kwa-Zulu Natal Junior Tennis program the last four years, was voted to the All-South Africa High School Team in 2005 and received honors in tennis in 2005 and 2006. He also garnered the Award for Sporting Excellence in 2006.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Cowden has also participated in cricket and track during his athletic career, including seven years of cricket and four seasons of track during primary school or high school.

"I am very excited about Richard joining our program. From all of my sources where I got Julius [Robberts] several years ago, they all say this kid is every bit as good," Short said. "He gives us immediate help in doubles and I am expecting him to be a major force in the middle of our lineup in singles.

"He's a big kid, a lefty, very strong and a gifted doubles player. He brings a lot to the table. He helps solidify us as a Top 30 team and gives us another chance to make a strong run at the conference championship again."

The Middle Tennessee spring season begins January 12-14 at the Florida State Invitational in Naples, Fla., with Florida State and Illinois.

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