While the Rockmart boys’ tennis team has a different look this season, so far the results have been similar to last year’s state title team.
Following Monday’s 5-0 win against Coosa at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College, the Yellow Jackets improved to 6-1 on the season and 4-0 in Region 7-AA play.
Rockmart is without five of its seven starters from last year’s championship team, which they won against Early County 3-2, but coach Barry Owen has been pleased with the way his returning players have taken control of the team.
“It’s a different year, so it’s a different team,” Owen said. “We had a lot of guys who were waiting in the wings and have been practicing hard and now it’s their time, and now it’s fun to see those guys get to step up now and get to play in the matches. We have some good players who are playing well.”
Some of those players are former doubles players Dillon Mahan and Gavin Tan, who have now moved up to singles competition. Mahan topped Coosa’s Malachi Williams 6-2, 6-2, on Monday, while Tan rolled past Tyler Sprayberry 6-0, 6-0.
Jonathan Crowe won at No. 1 singles against Hunter Dodd, 6-0, 6-2.
In doubles action, the team of Thomas Vest and Kaleb Shelton won 6-1, 6-1 against Andrew Nichols and Taylor Wilson. At No. 2 doubles, Mark Blalock and Tyler Paschal topped Ethan Dykes and Joseph Royten 6-0, 6-1.
Owen said the experience his players gained and the action they got to watch on the court has helped them get ready for what’s in store this season as the team hopes to repeat as region champions.
“I think it helped the guys watching the other guys practice and compete, so they know what to do and they know what’s expected of them,” Owen said. “I think everybody is excited and hopeful that we can win another region title this year.”
Also looking to build on their success from last season are the Lady Jackets, who advanced to the Final Four after claiming the No. 1 seed out of Region 7-AA.
Against the Lady Eagles on Monday, Rockmart improved 5-2 overall on the season and 4-0 in region play with a 5-0 victory.
At No. 1 singles, Maryann Earwood won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 singles, Emma Evans won 6-1, 6-0 and at No. 3 singles, Eisley Pope won 6-0, 6-0.
Amber Massey and Megan Clanton teamed up to win 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles, and Hailey Fairel and Maddie Owens won 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 at No. 2 doubles.
The Rockmart teams will continue region play Tuesday when they host Gordon Central.
In other tennis action:
Model boys 5, Dade County 0
With a perfect run through singles and just three sets dropped in doubles action, the Model boys’ tennis team rolled to a 5-0 shutout against Dade County in Region 7-AA action Monday.
The win improves the Blue Devils 6-0 on the season and 1-0 and region play.
Parker Stone, Teller Abdou and Eli Abdou all won 6-0, 6-0, at No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively.
At No. 1 doubles, Cole Locklear and Malachi Veillon won 6-1, 6-1, and John David Cunningham and Briggs Poyner won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 doubles.
Model girls 5, Dade County 0
The Model girls’ tennis team kept its record unblemished Monday with a 5-0 shutout against Dade County.
The win puts the Lady Blue Devils at 5-0 overall and 4-0 in Region 7-AA play.
At No. 1 singles, Tatum Abdou won 6-0, 6-0, Evalyn Edwards won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 singles, and Althea Holden won 6-1, 7-5 at No. 3 singles.
At No. 1 doubles, Miya Blaton and Brooke Roberts won 6-1, 6-0, and Emily Hicks and Ella Burgess rolled to a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 2 doubles.