Here are a few things we learned at the state tennis meet:
North Fulton is a hotbed for the sport: The four teams that played for the state championships in Class AAAAAA were all from North Fulton: Cambridge and Alpharetta girls and Northview and Chattahoochee boys. The Northview-Chattahoochee match finished 3-2 and was one of the best boys matches of the day.
Lambert coach reveals secret: Lambert boys coach Eric Hampton said the key for his team’s state championship was the willingness of his best players to return to play high school tennis, even though they already had scholarships and had little to personally gain from it. Hampton said he likes to schedule difficult matches that test the better players and gives them an incentive to return.
A first for Marist: The boys had never won four straight championships. This year’s team began with coach Tommy Marshall when they were freshmen and stuck together through some adversity. Injuries knocked three players out for a month, but they came back and beat North Oconee for the championship.
A first for Atlanta: Since the GHSA started keeping records in 1980, no Atlanta Public School team had won a girls tennis tournament. Drew Charter changed that on Saturday when it claimed the Class A Public school title.
The Eagles had plenty of support, especially from those wearing Team Clemons jackets and shirts. Autumn Clemons and Summer Clemons won their matches and No. 1 and No. 2 singles and Drew beat Trion 3-2.
A last for Dimon: Longtime Westminster coach Scoot Dimon called it quits after the Wildcats won the Class AAA final over Calhoun 3-2. Dimon got a bucket of water dumped on him to celebrate his soggy ride into the sunset. Dimon’s friendly demeanor will be missed around the courts.
Big things ahead for Chamblee: The Bulldogs won the school’s first girls championship and the first tennis title for DeKalb County since 2001. It may be a trend. Chamblee’s Olena Bilukha, who is now 52-0 in high school, has another year of eligibility left. Grace Pietkiewicz, who lost only once, has two years left. The No. 1 doubles team of Madeline Meer (sophomore) and Madison Trinh (freshman) are also very young.
It’s tough to double: There were four schools that had their boys and girls teams in the championship round. Westminster and Bleckley County came away with the sweep, while Starr’s Mill and North Oconee came up short.
Premier Sports shoutout: Manager Marcus Vickers and his team again did a fine job at the Clayton County International Park. From the court management to the food, Vickers had his group prepared and ready for the challenge.
Boys: Lambert def. Etowah 3-0
Girls: Walton def. North Gwinnett 3-0
Boys: Northview def. Chattahoochee 3-2
Girls: Canbridge def. Alpharetta 3-0
Boys: Starr’s Mill def. Carrollton 3-0
Girls: Chamblee def. Starr’s Mill 3-1
Boys: Marist def. North Oconee 3-0
Girls: North Oconee def. St. Pius 3-0
Boys: Westminster def. Pace Academy 3-0
Girls: Westminster def. Calhoun 3-2
Boys: Bleckley County deef. Model 3-2
Girls: Bleckley County def. Screven County 3-0
Class A Public
Boys: Irwin County def. Telfair County 3-0
Girls: Drew Charter def. Trio 3-2
Class A Private
Boys: Stratford Academy def. Mt. Paran 3-2
Girls: Brookstone def. Wesleyan 3-2