Parkers Chapel graduated a large chunk off last year’s tennis team that won the 2A Girls State Championship. That doesn’t mean the Lady Trojans have counted themselves out of this year’s 2A State Tournament.
The Trojans either, for that matter.
The 2A State Tennis Tournament, hosted by West Side Greers Ferry, begins Monday at Fairfield Bay Tennis Center.
“Both the girls and boys have had a very successful season. I've been impressed with some players stepping up and filling the shoes of players that we graduated this past year,” said PC coach Casey Rapp. “Both teams have put in many hours of hard work and I couldn't be more proud of the players that I have. I think that they will give a good representation of Parkers Chapel at the state tournament.”
The defending champion Lady Trojans qualified their entire squad, led by doubles teams in seniors Rebekah Hardy and Madison Sullivan and sophomores Bella Frisby and Kallie Martin. Sophomore Abbey Williams and freshman Tatum Watson qualified in singles.
“The girls are defending state champions and I think it has added some pressure on their performance, but it's something that they have handled well,” Rapp said. “The girls realize they have to maintain a high level of play because they have a goal of winning the state title again and they understand they can't take it for granted. They set a high expectation for themselves during matches and practice. Hopefully their hard work will pay off next week. I think they have a good shot of winning and hope to see them achieve their goal.”
Parkers Chapel has experience in its doubles lineup. Both singles players will be making their state tournament debut.
“Abbey and Tatum are both first-year players in the state tournament but that doesn't mean they aren't talented. They could potentially go far in the bracket,” said Rapp. “Both doubles teams are very strong.”
The coach said don’t overlook Parkers Chapel’s boys, who are led by sophomore Jackson Dison in singles. Senior Mason Dougan also qualified in singles. Spencer Frisby and Brody Goodwin won conference in doubles and will be joined by Will Hardy and Tanner Hazelwood in the doubles bracket.
“The boys also have set high goals. We also have potential to do very well with the boys,” said Rapp. “Jackson Dison will be aiming to win the boys singles competition. He certainly can achieve it if he plays to his best potential. Our second boys singles player is Mason Dougan, who has the ability to be an underdog in the bracket. He is a strong player, also. Our boys doubles will be Spencer Frisby and Brody Goodwin, who should have a decent seed in the bracket and have made a strong doubles team. The other doubles are Will Hardy and Tanner Hazelwood, who are young but very solid players.
“We are hoping that our boys' points could add up to bring in a state championship as well.”
The state tournament is a two-day event. If each PC player can advance to the second day, the results of both boys and girls divisions could be interesting.
“We are going to the state tournament with high hopes and a frame of mind to play hard and do our best,” said Rapp. “Hopefully we will have good results.”