(Red Oak) -- Each weekday from now until August 26th, KMA Sports will be announcing the inaugural KMA Sports Hall of Fame class. Throughout the 2016-17 sports year, these 20 inductees will have special induction ceremonies, but August is designed for the announcements.
Today's announcement features two girls that have to be talked about together just because their long list of accomplishments go together. Red Oak twin sisters Emily and Rachel Pierson won consecutive state doubles championships in 2010 and 2011, completing one of the most dominant doubles careers the state has ever seen.
Along the way, the Pierson sisters led Red Oak to four consecutive Hawkeye Ten Conference championships and state Final Four appearances. While they were terrific all-around athletes, tennis was the sport they were focused on from almost the moment they could walk.
"Our dad used to take us to Legion Park," Rachel said, "and we were probably around four. I remember he'd work with us everyday, and we'd play with Rudy Kinard, Dan Martinez and some other coaches in Omaha. I remember getting my first racket, and I was so excited."
Emily and Rachel made an impact almost immediately, finishing third in the state as freshmen and second as sophomores before taking the championship in their final two years.
"I remember having all the support from the town," Emily said. "My coaches, Dan and Nita (Martinez), they were always the best coaches. Just having really good times at state was a great feeling."
The Piersons quickly built up a rivalry with some doubles teams from Camanche, losing in the final in 2009 before winning a three-set thriller in 2010's championship and completely dominating on the way to a 6-0, 6-1 win in 2011.
"We definitely got better," Rachel said of bouncing back after the loss in 2009. "We were more confident in our game. I think a lot of it was nerves. I guess the best advice I could give to any tennis player is to have fun and try not to be so nervous."
Their tennis domination had a lot to do with talent, but in doubles you also need plenty of cohesiveness and communication. Being sisters, Emily and Rachel had it.
"It worked out well," Emily said. "We knew each other's strengths and weaknesses. It worked out well playing with her, and we got along, too, so that always helped."
Emily and Rachel finished out their high school careers with just two losses before moving on to play at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Their lasting influence in the sport of tennis in Red Oak, KMAland and the state remains to this day.
They will be inducted as part of the inaugural class of the KMA Sports Hall of Fame at a date to be determined.
KMA Sports will announce a new inductee each August weekday morning during the 7:50 AM sportscast. Track the Hall of Fame announcements/inductees below:
Football: Announced August 26th at 7:50 AM
Girls Basketball: Announced August 18th at 7:50 AM
Boys Track: Announced August 23rd at 7:50 AM
Boys Golf: Announced August 19th at 7:50 AM
Girls Tennis: Emily & Rachel Pierson (Induction: TBA)
Team: Announced August 25th at 7:50 AM
Softball: Announced August 24th at 7:50 AM
Team: Announced August 22nd at 7:50 AM