This past tennis season saw some strong performances from area schools and was highlighted by the Rockmart boys’ first ever state championship and an appearance in the Final Four by the Lady Yellow Jackets.
But there were plenty of other great plays from athletes around the region, and the players behind them are being recognized as part of the 2019 Rome News-Tribune All-Area tennis teams.
The Rockmart boys had obviously the most successful run this past season, as they held on for a 3-2 win against Early County to claim the Class AA state championship on its home courts.
Singles players Timothy Malone and Bennett Vest helped guide their team to the championship as they both played tiebreaker sets to take their contests and clinch the state championship.
Malone fought his way to a 7-6, 6-1 finish at No. 2 singles and Vest won 6-1, 7-5 at No. 3 singles. Malone, who is signed to play at Shorter University, finished 23-2 on the year, and Vest finished a perfect 25-0. Both are RN-T All-Area selections.
Model’s Parker Stone kept his stellar high school career going during his junior season while leading his team to the second round of the playoffs where they were defeated by Elbert County.
Stone has a career high school record of 47-0 and finished the 2019 season with a 17-0 record. Stone lost no more than three games in a set during the season.
The Rockmart girls also made a deep run in the playoffs advancing to the semifinals before being defeated by Berrien.
Mary Ella Owen, who’s going to continue her tennis career at Shorter University, finished the season with a 21-2 record. Temmate Emma Evans, a junior who started later in the season because of basketball, still went on to a 16-1 record for the Lady Jackets.
Armuchee’s Brooke Dellis and Chloe Purdy helped lead the Lady Indians to an appearance in the Elite Eight of the Class AA state playoffs. Dellis lost only two matches during the past season and was undefeated in the postseason.
Purdy, a sophomore, suffered only two losses this season, one of which came in the Elite Eight against Jeff Davis to a senior player.
One of the top programs in the GICAA, Unity Christian School’s girls made another solid run this past season, going undefeated against local teams along the way.
Dory Williams was the runner-up at the GICAA state individual championships, while the double team of Tori Calvert and Mary Jack Williams finished second in their division as well.