Whitefield crowns itself Class A state tennis champ
by Adam Carrington
acarrington@mdjonline.com
May 12, 2012 01:03 AM | 2236 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Finally a state champion after a handful of close calls in recent years, Whitefield Academy’s boys tennis team celebrates their title Friday at Clayton County International Park.
<BR>Photo special to the MDJ
Finally a state champion after a handful of close calls in recent years, Whitefield Academy’s boys tennis team celebrates their title Friday at Clayton County International Park.
Photo special to the MDJ
slideshow
JONESBORO — Whitefield Academy’s boys tennis program had mastered regular-season perfection, having done so for three straight years.

This season, the Wolfpack were perfect all the way to the end.

Having been in contention for the Class A state championship the last two years, Whitefield finally collected its first title Friday afternoon with a 3-1 victory over Brookstone at Clayton County International Park.

The Wolfpack (15-0) needed just 45 minutes to beat Calvary Day in the semifinal earlier Friday.

Each of the past two years, Whitefield saw its undefeated regular seasons culminate with losses to Wesleyan in the state quarterfinals.

The Wolfpack didn’t have to worry about Wesleyan this year. They swept Lakeview Academy and Darlington to begin postseason, before beating Mount Pisgah Christian 3-1 in the quarterfinal earlier this week.

“This has got to be the biggest thing ever,” said Bob Mainor, a Whitefield community coach who works with head coach Meghan Magee. “We’re just absorbing it right now.”

Whitefield clinched the win against Brookstone at No. 1 doubles, when Matthew Landry and Cole Enright came through with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Joo-Yeok Lee and Jonathan Deeling. After Landry and English dropped the second set as a result of a sagging service game, the twosome jumped on top early in the third set and never looked back.

Boston College-bound Whitefield ace Kyle Childree won 6-1, 6-3 over Kazuki Onoe at No. 1 singles, and Tommy Keough and Bennett Shilling won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2 doubles.

At No. 1 doubles, Landry started the third set by holding serve at love and Whitefield went to reach deuce the following game before breaking Brookstone’s serve for a 2-0 lead.

The Cougars broke back to stay in the third set before Whitefield roared out to a 5-1 lead. With English serving for the match, the duo fended off a couple of deuces before winning on a serve to the backhand side that set up a winning volley by Landry.

“I was anxious,” Landry said afterwards. “I wanted it to end and hit the (volley) as hard as I could.”

Childree dominated his match until he had difficulty closing it with a 6-1, 5-0 lead. Onoe fought back to win three straight games and was ahead 30-15 on serve before Childree won the last three points, and the match, on an Onoe double fault, an overhead winner and an forced approach shot that wasn’t returned.

Robby Keough fell 7-6 (6), 6-2 to George Adams at No. 3 singles for Whitefield’s only loss, but he may have an alibi.

The freshman was on the court less than 24 hours after competing in the track and field state championships. He finished second in the Class A 1,600-meter run, behind Whitefield teammate Cameron Thornton.

CLASS AAAAA

In what was an injury-plagued season, Walton was still one match shy of making the Class AAAAA state finals.

The Raiders, however, came up short in the singles department, dropping a 3-2 match to Westlake.

Walton was in position to win, with both doubles teams winning in straight sets and Shaunish Mookerji up a set at No. 2 singles, but Mookerji couldn’t hold on. He had his chances in both the second and third sets, but he lost a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 decision to Justin Byrd.

Westlake had the edge in experience at No. 1 and No. 3 singles. Danny Bruce lost 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 to Zachary Kennedy, and Morgan Stone fell 7-5, 6-3 to Samuel Kennedy at No. 2.

Eric Wagasky and Crews Enochs bounced back from a rocky start to win 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles and Russell McCain and Liam Villante won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 doubles.

“We played our hearts out against a great team,” Walton coach John Evans said. “I’m proud of them. We overcame adversity and came up just short (against Westlake).”

North Cobb may have lost 3-0 to Alpharetta in the other Class AAAAA semifinal, but the future looks bright for the Warriors with every starter returning.

Andre Canimo was unable to keep up with Sam Jang-Milsten after the first set at No. 2 singles and lost 7-5, 6-2 for the clinching point. Brothers Bradford and Preston Lahmann fell 6-3, 6-1 to Kenneth Yang and Nathan Corbin at No.2 doubles, and Ronak Mody lost 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3 singles to Daniel Zheng.

“This is as deep as we’ve been in nine years,” North Cobb coach Bonnie Reedy said. “All seven starters are back. We have a solid lineup returning and a good eight-grader coming up.”
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