For years, Brittany Baldy has grown accustomed to startled friends asking: "Jack Elliott! Is he really your dad?
It works both ways.
Elliott, a popular morning radio personality on KYIS-FM, sometimes hears: "Brittany Baldy! Is she really your daughter?
Baldy, a senior at Bishop McGuinness, can join an exclusive club today at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center. If Baldy wins both matches at the high school state tennis tournament, she will become only one of 16 girls to win four state titles and only the sixth to accomplish the feat in doubles and singles.
"That would really be an honor, Baldy said. "To win three No. 1 singles would be amazing and to win four (overall), there's only a select few who've done that.
Baldy, ranked in the top 100 nationally in 18-and-under, won a state title in No. 1 doubles her freshman year and has won No. 1 Class 4A singles as a sophomore and junior. If she wins two matches today, Baldy will finish her career 16-0 at the state tournament.
"I've been amazed all along at her ability because neither me nor my wife have ever played tennis, said Elliott, who regularly watches Brittany's matches. "We weren't the least bit interested in tennis. To watch her develop and grow, most of the people who play tennis had parents who played tennis.
Elliott changed his last name on the advice of a program director in Phoenix. People who don't know his legal name, Baldy, don't know Brittany is his daughter.
Baldy didn't begin playing tennis until she was 10. One summer day, she was bored and begin flipping through the yellow pages. She accidentally turned to tennis. Within a few years, Baldy was competing on the highly competitive summer circuit.
Led by Baldy, McGuinness is favored to win its seventh consecutive 4A title, the longest streak in state history. McGuinness coach Ed Warren said Baldy's final high school match might be one of her toughest. Tulsa Washington sophomore Rebecca Parks, who missed state last year because of an injury, is 15-0 this season.
"We've basically been preparing for (Parks) the whole season, Warren said. "(Parks) has really improved a lot the last six to nine months. She is 5-foot-11 and is a really good player who keeps getting better. We won't take her lightly. If Brittany wins, it would be really special to get that fourth title.
Baldy, 18, has been No. 1 in previous years in the Missouri Valley, a year round tour that features players from seven states. Baldy and Raquel Wanger, from St. Louis, finished as the runners up in a national doubles summer event. Next year, Baldy will be on scholarship at Oklahoma.
"College tennis in the Big 12 is a completely different level, Baldy said. "I'll have to train really hard. I know they have some great players. My goal is to play my first year, be one of the top six, and play in a lot of matches.Archive ID: 2409388