Hall to honor a tennis prodigy Britni Webb
No matter what level she played, youth, high school, or college, Placer High School’s Britni Webb (class of 1998) excelled and showed the heart of a champion. Because of her vast accomplishments, she will be inducted into the PHS Athletic Hall of Fame in a ceremony in the Earl Crabbe Gym on April 28.
Webb began playing tennis at age six. For the next 11 years, she competed in tournaments throughout the state, at one point being ranked as high as No. 15 in the Northern California Tennis Association. Showing what would become a signature character trait, she earned the Sportsman award in both the 12-and-under and the 18-and-under divisions.
From 1994 to 1998, Webb was the No. 1 and 2 singles player for Placer, during which time the Hillmen won four Sierra Foothill League and four Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championships.
Her high school career was marked by classic battles with Placer teammate Karen Holland and Rio Americano rival Jill Howard.
For three years, she battled Holland for the No. 1 singles spot, losing to her left-handed opponent in the Sierra Foothill League finals and the Sac-Joaquin Section finals her freshman year.
The next year, the right-handed Webb bested Holland for the SFL title and was scheduled to play her again for the section crown. But Holland had to scratch after a stomach ailment over the weekend.
Webb was offered a forfeit victory, but in a display of sportsmanship and respect for her rival and teammate, turned it down, wanting to win the title on the court.
When Holland recovered, the two squared off again with Holland claiming the second of her three consecutive section championships.
For the next two years, Webb captured two more SFL singles titles, losing in sections to Rio’s Howard as a junior, but getting revenge by beating her in sections as a senior. It would not be the last time the two would meet.
Webb served as Placer’s team captain during her senior year, and finished her career with more than 60 singles match wins, the most in the school’s history.
She was the beneficiary of some good coaching. As a youngster, she received instruction for a year and a half from Stanford great and University of Washington coach Patty Fendick, a professional tennis player.
In high school, she was coached by PHS Athletic Hall of Fame coach Bill Miller during her first three years. “Miller was unique,” she said. “He never played tennis, but he was able to produce fantastic players.”
Being under his tutelage was most impactful to her. “He was a big factor in my life. He was inspiring and demanding, but he cared about his players. He helped players become self disciplined and focused,” she said.
“These help me now. I’m thankful to have spent time with him.”
She recalled that Miller had a board outside the team’s tennis shed where he posted inspirational quotes, mantras, and newspaper articles. “We had to write down the quotes in our personal journals or run laps. We spent time before practice, relaxing, settling in our minds what we were going to do on the court, and in life. These strategies are very helpful to me now.”
In her senior year, another Athletic Hall of Fame coach, Rad McCord, became her coach. “McCord had his own style, but he piggy-backed on Miller’s coaching,” and continued the team’s success.
Having served as Miller’s assistant for three years, McCord knew what he had in Webb, a player with tournament experience, overwhelming power, and confidence.
“Coaching her was simple; just step aside and let her go. It was her senior year, and I was not going to change her.”
“She brought a whole new attitude to the court. If her opponent gave her an easy ball, she’d crush it to the corner.”
Webb earned an athletic scholarship for tennis to UC Davis. There, she played Number 1 and 2 singles and Number 1 doubles all four years. The Aggies team won the CCAA championship all four years, 1999-2002.
She was ranked as high as No.15 in Division II women’s singles tennis and was named NCAA Division II All-American in 2002.
She also reunited with Rio Americano’s Howard and the two were ranked No. 10 doubles in the country in 2000.
As a senior, she was awarded the Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award for Division II. The prestigious honor recognizes players who excell on and off the court during their college careers. Players are honored for their tennis accomplishments, scholastic achievements, and extracurricular endeavors.
Following college, where she graduated with degree in Religious Studies, Webb taught tennis for two and a half years and was the tennis pro representing Natomas Racquet Club in Sacramento.
But then another passion entered her life. “I loved to bake, so I went to culinary school.” After receiving her degree from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, she became a baker.
She served as head pastry chef for The Kitchen an award-winning Sacramento restaurant that has received accolades for food service from local, national, and international publications and organizations.
Now married to Jesus Arguelles and living in Toronto, Canada, for the past eight years she has been a stay-at-home mom to daughter Sophia, 8, and son Ezra, 5. She still does baking on the side for friends and her family.
The Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony will be held in the Earl Crabbe Gym on April 28. A meet-and-greet reception will begin at 6 pm followed by the induction ceremony at 7 p.m. Tickets for the reception cost $20 and are available online at the AHOF website, placerathletichalloffame.org or directly at placerathletichof.brownpapertickets.com. Phone orders may be placed by calling 800-838-3006.
The 7 p.m. ceremony is free of charge to the public.