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Sandy Journal

Sarah Cowdell carries on family tradition of athletics at Jordan High School

Oct 12, 2023 01:54PM ● By Josh McFadden

Sarah Cowdell has not only excelled on the court for the Jordan girls tennis team, but she was voted as one of the homecoming royalty this fall. (Photo courtesy Sarah Cowdell )

Jordan High School is one of the oldest high schools in Utah, having opened its doors in 1907. The locations and buildings have changed a few times, but the traditions have always been strong. It’s not unusual to see second- or third-generation students and athletes here. In the case of girls tennis player Sarah Cowdell, her family ties to the school go back four generations. 

Cowdell traces her family link to Jordan to her great-great grandparents. Her family members were not only students at the school but competed in athletics for the Beetdiggers. Cowdell has been a standout member of the girls tennis team and placed second in region at first doubles. Along with her partner, Olivia Hill, she went 6-1 during the season. 

“The current season has been personally fulfilling,” she said. 

The individual success has been nice, but being part of the Jordan team is what she loves most about playing tennis at the school. She loves the team unity and selflessness the players show. 

“Playing for the Jordan Beetdiggers is a privilege,” Cowdell said. “The girls tennis team doesn’t have any drama or exclusivity. I love that we all are friends, support each other and have fun together.”

Cowdell started playing tennis at age 14. Though no one in her immediate family played tennis, her grandfather introduced her to the sport and became her first coach. Playing tennis has been a way for Cowdell to meet people and socialize. Competing has made her happy.

“It has been a great way to make friends and get involved with the school,” she said. “I just love the joy that it brings me.”

Over the years, Cowdell has improved and honed her skills. She has used these to help her team and lift her teammates. She prides herself on her work ethic, among other things. Opponents and opponents’ parents have often noted how kind she is. 

“As a player, my strengths are consistency, willingness to practice outside of school and being a good team player,” she said. 

Beginning her tennis career at 14 meant Cowdell had a later start than many of her opponents. Though this may have been a disadvantage, hard work and practice evened the playing field more, helping her to achieve success and become one the region’s top players. 

“I feel like I had to put in a lot more work to match that level,” she said. “I had determination, perseverance and rigorous training.”

Cowdell is a captain for the Beetdiggers. She is also a manager for the boys tennis team. Off the court, she has an impressive resume. She is a 4.0 student and is ranked No. 1 in her class. She was also voted as homecoming royalty (princess). After she graduates at the end of the school year, Cowdell plans to go to college and eventually become a medical doctor. 

Though her completive tennis career will come to an end when the season concludes, Cowdell will still play tennis recreationally.

As she reflects on her time as a Beetdiggers’ tennis players, Cowdell is thankful for her coaches, parents and teammates and for the role they have played in her success. 

“Coach (Matt) Bell has been the perfect coach for my personality and for our entire team,” she said. “He is always positive and pushes me to be the best player I can be. I have also taken private lessons with coach Ahmed. He has helped me to sharpen my skills and take them to the next level. My teammates and family have been a huge inspiration for me to keep playing. They have provided guidance, motivation and unwavering support. My family never misses a match, and my team is always cheering me on.”

On Sept. 28, Cowdell and Hill won a round of 32 state tournament match over a tandem from Uintah High School, 6-3, 6-1. This advanced them to the round of 16 where they were set to face a pair from Provo High School. λ