They did so with the boys team, building a solid nucleus that led the program to its first Class A state title after being denied twice in the quarterfinals. Not only did the Wolfpack claim that elusive state title, they’re coming off three straight undefeated regular seasons and back-to-back Region 9A titles.
Mainor, who played college tennis at Young Harris, handles the on-court coaching duties as Whitefield’s community coach. Magee, who took up the game five years ago, handles the administrative duties, such as scheduling and transportation while also serving as head coach of the Region 9A champion girls team.
The partnership clicked right away, and they watched both teams take off. After leading the boys program to its first state championship, Magee and Mainor are the 2012 Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Boys Co-Coaches of the Year.
Whitefield came up short against Wesleyan in the 2010 and ’11 state quarterfinals after playing perfectly in the regular season, and coaches and players alike assured themselves that this year wouldn’t be a repeat performance.
“The bottom line was that last year, throughout the regular season, they were tired, and we didn’t peak at the right time,” Mainor said. “At the beginning of this season, I talked to them about how important it was to really focus and increase the level of play. The guys took me to heart and worked extra hard going into the region tournament, and, after region, the guys stepped up a little bit.”
Whitefield finished with a 15-0-1 record, the one tie coming against Pace Academy in a match that was halted by lightning after the score was tied at 2-all.
The Wolfpack made it through region play without giving up a point. They gave up one point each in non-region victories over Walker and Lovett during the regular season and didn’t lose an individual match until going up against Mount Pisgah Christian in the state quarterfinals.
“One of the things that make (the players) unique is that a lot of what they do is self-initiated,” Magee said. “A lot of their success is due to their own motivation to be successful. It makes our job a lot smoother.”
Whitefield’s biggest test came against Mount Pisgah in the quarterfinals.
Knowing that they couldn’t get past the quarterfinals the last two years, the Wolfpack dug deep and a pair of three-set wins — by Boston College-bound Kyle Childree and the No. 2 doubles team of Tommy Keough and Bennett Shilling. Whitefield also got help at No. 3 singles from Robby Keough, who only gave up one game.
After needing just 45 minutes to beat Calvary Day in the semifinals, Brookstone was Whitefield’s only barrier left. The Wolfpack won 3-1 to clinch their title, celebrating after Matthew Landry and Cole Enright’s three-set win at No. 1 doubles.
With that, Whitefield’s mission was finally accomplished.
“It feels great,” Mainor said. “The group of boys were all just hard workers, and it was something that they really wanted. It was really a great year.”