LC Boys Tennis Team Captures 5th Consecutive Regional
Title; girls take third straight…
The Lawrence Co. boys tennis team re-created history in winning their 5th consecutive Regional Title. The Bulldogs led by lone senior, Jake Estep, took control of the region by winning both the singles and doubles titles. Estep showed dominating serving power and athleticism in winning the singles title and the duo of Cole McCreary and Jake Estep displayed aggresive net play in winning the doubles title.
“Every year our goal is to win a Regional Title or beyond and we were fortunate enough to play our best tennis at the most important times. Jake has been a beast for us all year long and I’m glad he can have some individual recognition this year because of his sacrifices to help our team in previous years,” coach Chad Williams said.
Williams said that Estep is currently on a 21 match win streak that extended into Sectional and the State Tournament play last week. Another streak that continued was Cole McCreary’s 3rd Regional Championship in a row (2 in doubles & 1 in singles).
“Cole is a workhorse and a great leader for our team. No matter if our team needs him in singles or doubles, he’s going to come through for us. I was really happy with the way his partner, Jacob West, played this year too. West stepped it up for us and won some big matches for the team. I believe he’s turned the corner and going to have a big year next year,” said coach Wiliams.
One of the biggest surprises of the tournament of LC was Matt Hammond’s win over the #3 seed Jared Stevens from Sheldon Clark. Williams said, “Matt had a lot of confidence going into the match, he had a focused purpose, and executed it to the T. I love to watch “Bone” play because he gets fired up and shows some passion for the game.”
Lawrence Co.’s youth also made good contributions to the team this year. Eighth graders Alan Lin and Nick Kessinger, along with 7th grader Daniel Cantrell, played valuable matches theis year and each ended with winning records. “We’ve had a great season from all our players and I’m proud of their work and effort to help accomplish our team goal,” said Williams.
LC Girls tennis team Captures 3rd Consecutive Regional Title
The Lawrence Co. girl’s tennis team has a total team effort to come away with their 3rd Regional title in a row. In a long week of outdoor play, 4 days of continuous rain, indoor matches, then back outside…..LC’s girls weathered the torm to edge our Johnson Central for the Regional Title.
Filled with talent, youth, and a couple of comeback players….LC won the title in unusual fashion this year. “This is the first time I can remember that we won the team title without winning the singles or doubles title and that’s a credit of how our team pulled together and everyone doing theor part to help us win. We didn’t exactly know how this year would work our due to a shortened lineup at the start of this year’s practices but everything fell into place as the season went along and it’s been one of my favorite years in coaching,” coach Dixon said.
LC junior Ali Dotson lead the way for the Bulldogs this season playing at teh #1 position in singles and earning the #1 seed in Regional Doubles with partner and cousin Chelsea Shepherd. “Ali made theis year come together for us and played like a champ in singles and doubles. I always wanted to see Ali be more confident and assertive and this was the year it finally came out in her. I was so glad to have Chelsea come back to our team after not playing the last two years and she didn’t miss a beat getting to the final in doubles with Ali. Chelsea really played well in the match against Morgan Co. that clinched the title for us,” said coach Dixon.
Sophomore Abby Haynes and 5th grader Eden Webb provided a ninteresting duo for the Bulldogs this year with experience and youth combined. the combination proved right in the Regional tourney as they entered as a high seed and reached the semi-finals. “Abby and Eden played greatdoubles together and won a huge quarterfinal match against Pikeville to help secure the title for us. Abby had always been consistent and steady winning nearly every match she plays for us and we expect huge things from Eden with her tennis talent in the near future,” coach Dixon said.
Another welcome back addition for this years Bulldogs was sophomore Shelby Hay. After having not played the year before and playing limited matches due to select soccer, hay made the most of her time on the court reaching the semi-finals of singles in the Region. (NOTE – Shelby is also the only player in Bulldogs history to win to Regional Titles in two different sports….soccer & tennis)
Coach Dixon said, “Shelby is jsut a special kind of athlete that can make things happen in a short amount of time. Making the semis with amount she was able to play shows the tennis potential she has for the furure. Like Chelsea, I was so glad Shelby came back and joined us again.”
LC is winning Regional Titles now, but the future could even be brighter with the youth abnd improvements of players like 6th grader Allison Ferrell and 4th grader Brooke Fletcher. “Allison played her best match of the year in the Regional Tourney showing thatshe could step up her play when the team needed it most. Brooke is also a player to watch out for, she’s improving all the time and we are excited to see how she keeps progressing. We’ve got the best group of kids and I’m proud of the way they make good grades, act on and off the court, and perform on the court. Like I said, it’s been one of my favorite years in coaching,” said coach Dixon.