Cedar Hill 17 year old is among top tennis players in the country

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by TED MADDEN

WFAA

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 8:45 PM

CEDAR HILL - Charles Boyce, 17, is one of the best tennis players in Texas, and ranks inside the top-20 in the country.

It happened fast. He started playing seriously just three years ago, and soon became the No. 1 player in Texas in his age group.

"I mean, rare is not the word for it - it just doesn't happen," said his coach Scott Bailey, from Lone Star Tennis. "When you find somebody with that much talent and they're able to make that much of a jump -- or should I say, you don't find somebody. I've been teaching 10 years. I've never seen anything like it."

Good genes from his parents certainly helped. Merle and Charles, Jr. were both athletes, but neither played tennis.

"He is an exceptional athlete," said his dad, Charles Jr, who played football at Sam Houston and got a tryout with the Chicago Bears. "He has abilities, physically, to go as far as he wants to go."

Players with Charles' ability don't normally play for their high school, and he doesn't either, which frees him up to play in state and national tournaments. In March, Charles played three events in Asia: the first in Thailand, the second in Malaysia and the third in the Philippines.

It was a long three weeks.

"I don't think I talked to him for three days after we got back," said his mom, Merle, laughing. "No, really. I didn't."

When told what his mom said, Charles laughed.

"It's probably because we were sleeping most of the day," he said.

His hectic tennis schedule doesn't allow him to be a traditional high school student.

Last year, as a junior, Charles was home schooled for a few months. But this year Cedar Hill opened up a virtual lab, which allows him to take his classes online when he's not in town.

When he is home, Charles does his online classes at the high school, and he's on pace to graduate with the rest of the senior class in May.

"[I'm] doing okay. I have like a 3.0, which is all right," Charles said. "It's kinda hard, when I'm always playing, tired, don't have a lot of time to study."

Charles has offers to play in college; he just doesn't know where.

He does know it won't be in Asia.

E-mail tmadden@wfaa.com

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