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TENNIS: Cedartown to open the season next week

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Cedartown High School tennis head coach Leslie Morgan will be balancing two very different teams this spring.

The Lady Bulldogs tennis team will enter this season with the expectations of making a run for one of the four coveted state playoff spots from Region 7-AAAA. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, enter this season looking to rebuild after losing multiple key players to graduation.

“I am looking to have a successful season with the girls,” Morgan said. “Everyone is returning except for two players who graduated.”

Seniors on the Lady Bulldogs team this season are Mary Paige Gray, Valeria DeWandel and Lauren Smith. The juniors are Abigail Kiser and Savannah Couey, and they are joined by sophomore Kasey Gibson. Freshmen Callie McDonald and Holly Robinson will also play important roles this year.

“I also have two freshmen who will bring lots of depth to our team,” Morgan said.

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, are looking to establish their identity in a new region.

“This will be a building year for the boys,” Morgan said.

The lone senior for the Bulldogs will be Kyle Allen. Juniors Shane Smith, Dylan Woods and Griffin Whitfield will provide depth. They will be joined by freshmen D.J. Conner and Tanner Merhkens.

“The boys work very hard at practice and if they continue to improve during practice then we should have a successful year,” Morgan said.

Cedartown is slated to open the season on Thursday, Feb. 21 at Rockmart at 4:30 p.m. Cedartown will then play at home on Friday, Feb. 22 against Jacksonville; Monday, Feb. 25 against Pepperell; and Wednesday, Feb. 27 against Central-Carroll. All three home games will start at 4:30 p.m.