October 20, 2020

Braves earn top seeds for upcoming region tennis finals

2017 Senior Braves on Senior Day this week (L-R): Head coach Rich Fendley, John Helton, Taylor Storey, Michael Cadwell, Hunter Clark, Trey Wiggins, Megan Jordan, and assistant coach Blake Alford

2017 Senior Braves on Senior Day this week (L-R): Head coach Rich Fendley, John Helton, Taylor Storey, Michael Cadwell, Hunter Clark, Trey Wiggins, Megan Jordan, and assistant coach Blake Alford

(Franklin, GA) — The Brave tennis teams both put themselves in prime contention for region titles Thursday after they traveled to Callaway High School and knocked off the Cavaliers.

The Lady Braves dominated the Cavs 4-1 to finish the season undefeated in region play for the first time in program history.

The lone loss in the match came via forfeit due to a couple of Lady Braves being unable to make the trip to the match that was rescheduled from earlier this season due to rain.

Leading the way were Melissa Collins and Makayla Red who each earned big wins in singles competition.

In doubles action, the duo of Megan Jordan and Katelyn Smith were winners as were the tandem of Laurel Roberts and Taylor Storey.

The girls now hope to move on and win the first women’s Region 5-AA Championship in school history when they host the region tourney on April 11 at HHS.

In boys’ action, the Braves took care of the Cavs with a 3-1-1 win after one match was postponed due to weather late in the matches.

The doubles team of Jordan Cornelius and Michael Cadwell were tied 6-6 when the match was called. In the other doubles match, Hunter Clark and Garrett Callahan were victorious over the Cavs.

In boys singles competition, Jackson Templeton and John Helton were both big winners while No. 1 Trey Wiggins dropped a tough match to a quality Cav opponent. Helton finished the regular season with a 12-4 record, one of the best records in school history for the No. 3 singles player.

“John Helton is by far the best No. 3 I’ve had over the past few years and was a real surprise because we weren’t even sure who was going to fill that spot prior to the season,” said Coach Rich Fendley after the matches Thursday. “Jackson Templeton has also had a great season for us scoring double-digit wins.”

All of the boys singles players and doubles teams finished the season with overall winning records. Fendley says the great season has been a real team effort for both the boys and the girls squads.

“The difference in this team versus year’s past has been our depth,” Fendley said. “We’re pretty good all the way through the line-up and it’s not just one really good player we are having to depend on. This group of players understands the team concept of tennis and that it may be someone different each week that helps get it done.”

Fendley also says his new assistant coach has played a big role in the team’s success.

“Blake Alford came on to help us this year and she has been so important for us,” added Fendley. “It helps me so much to have another set of eyes out there and she brings a lot of knowledge to the court having been an excellent player for us in her own right.”

Alford, a 2010 graduate of HHS, was one of the top female players for the Lady Braves early in the program’s history.

The tennis teams honored their senior players during Wednesday’s match versus Troup High School. Senior boys include John Helton, Michael Cadwell, Trey Wiggins, and Hunter Clark. Senior girls are Taylor Storey and Megan Jordan.

The Region 5-AA Tournament will take place at Heard High on Tuesday, April 11 beginning at 10:00 AM. The Lady Braves will host the No. 4 seed at 10:00 AM and the Braves will host the No. 4 boys’ seed at 11:30 AM. The girls championship match will begin at 1:00 PM and be followed by the boys title match at 2:30.

All four teams in the region tournament will continue on to the GHSA Class AA State Tournament where they will do battle with Region 7-AA. The first round at state will take place the week of April 15-20.

The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds coming out of the Region 5-AA tourney will host teams from 7-AA in first round matches while the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds will travel to northwest Georgia to meet their respective 7-AA opponents.

 

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