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Spring Fling Tennis Semis Start Today


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It’s Spring Fling XVII and the TSSAA state semifinals in tennis starts today at Old Fort Park in Murfreesboro and high school teams across the state hope to bring home a championship trophy on Wednesday.


All eight champions from 2009 return for another shot at the championship trophy; In D-II AA it’s McCallie and Hutchison and Science Hill boys and girls in D-I AAA.


University School Jackson boys’ (now competing in D-II A) and St. George’s girls’ also won titles in 2009 in D-II A.


If you are going …State Team Semifinals – Tuesday (CDT)

9 a.m. – Girls’ D-II A and AA

11 a.m. – Boys’ D-II A and AA

1 p.m. – Girls’ D-I A/AA and AAA

3 p.m. – Boys’ D-I A/A and AAA


State Team Finals – Wednesday (CDT)

9 a.m. – Girls’ D-I A/AA … Girls’ D-II A and AA

11:30 a.m. – Girls’ AAA; Boys’ D-II A and AA


Defending Champs:

All Eight Are Back: All eight team champions are back, with two teams – University School Jackson boys and girls have switched to D-II A.


D-II AA: McCallie, Hutchison

D-II A: Univ. School Nashville (boys); St. George’s (girls)


D-I A/AA: Univ. School Jackson (boys); Univ. School Jackson (girls)

D-I AAA: Science Hill (boys), Science Hill (girls)


Champs Who Have Moved

D-I A-AA: The Univ. School Jackson boys’ are now in D-II A.


State Champ at NCAAs: 2008 D-I A singles champion Will Reynolds (Chattanooga Christian) is playing on college tennis’s big stage this week for host Georgia … The walk-on freshman plays No. 6 for the Dawgs as the NCAA D-I men’s and women’s team titles will be determined tonight in Athens at the Dan McGill Tennis Center …


The No. 11 Dawgs upset No. 3 Florida last Friday, then beat unranked Oklahoma on Sunday, before falling to No. 2 Tennessee in Monday’s semifinals ... The Vols face Southern California for the team title tonight on ESPNU at 6 p.m.


Chattanooga businessman and tennis official Richard Rogers is working his sixth straight NCAA D-I tournament ... he officiated the Ole Miss-Florida women’s match on Thursday, the Georgia-Florida men’s match on Friday and Tennessee’s quarterfinal win against Baylor on Sunday and semis win last night against Georgia.


Rogers will also officiate the national singles and doubles competition, also held in Athens, Wednesday through Memorial Day.


GPS and the Gators: GPS coach Sue Bartlet will be focusing on her team’s performance in Tuesday’s 9 a.m. semis match with Harpeth Hall … Bartlett hopes for double win on Tuesday as her three-time state champion daughter, Claire, is a member of the No. 3 Florida team (29-2) which takes on No. 8 Stanford (25-1) for the NCAA title at 2 p.m. EDT on ESPNU ... So Bartlett most likely will hurry back to the hotel to watch the finals.


CCS State Champ II: Ole Miss assistant women’s coach is Jason Ontog, a two-time state champion (1998-99) for Chattanooga Christian … The Rebs’ No. 6 player is Gab Rangel who was a state singles runner-up to Bartlett in 2008.


70th Anniversary of Boys’ Tennis: Ken Young of Nashville West won the first state singles title in 1940, while Skippy Wills and Gary Albertine (Christian Brothers) won the first of three doubles crowns.


The state tournament was held 1940-1942 then off until 1962.


The first girls’ state tournament was 1964 and champions were Lynn Gregory (singles, David Lipscomb) and Patsy Hess-Gloria Ray (doubles, Knox. Fulton). David Lipscomb won the team title.


2010 Team Preview


Predicted Winners:




D-I A: Christ Presbyterian

D-I AAA: White Station


D-II A: St. George’s

D-II AA: Baylor



D-I A: Christian Academy of Knoxville

D-I AAA: Brentwood


D-II A: Knox. Webb



D-I A-AA Girls'

Semifinals: Christian Academy of Knox. Vs. Greenfield; Christ Presbyterian vs. Chattanooga Christian


Predicted Winner: Christ Presbyterian

2009 State Champion: Univ. School of Jackson (now in D-II A)


Christian Academy of Knox. (12-4): led by Kia Batiste and region doubles champs Barbara Smith-Haleigh Chastain are sophomores and played No. 2 doubles most of the season … Batiste is two-time region champ.


Greenfield (14-0): led by UT-Martin signee Katie McCall (17-0 and 81-9 for career) .. first trip to Spring Fling for fifth year program (55-11) ... McCall’s mother, Teresa is the coach … team practices are held at the McCall’s tennis court; only tennis court in town … Greenfield defeated previously unbeaten Trinity Presbyterian in sub state … team is 38-2 in last three years


Chattanooga Christian (14-2): led by freshman and Region 4 singles champ Ellie Henry… Chargers are coached by former Tenn. at Chattanooga All-American Sue Webb … have won eight state titles, the last coming in 2008 … Gretchen Rowe (No. 2 singles) is only starter from 2008 state championship.


Christ Presbyterian (15-2): team is 43-16-1 in four years under coach Greg Seat … players are involved in USTA no cut program … first year to make it out of district …

two freshman – Sydney Campbell (11-0, region champ) and Katherine Scholfield (12-0) – lead the way … Scholfield is also undefeated in doubles and made the state singles in semis in 2009 …Others in top five are co-captain Natalie Seale (11-6), co-captain Addie Isaacs (8-3) and Virginia Williams (17-1) …Scholfield/Seale (5-0) are region 5 doubles champs … Campbell is region singles champ and has lost only five games in 11 matches


Prediction: Semis should be great with four evenly matched teams … Christ Presbyterian and Greenfield advance to finals … Christ Presbyterian should have more depth to overcome the talented Katie McCall.


D-I A-AA Boys’:

Semifinals: Notre Dame vs. Madison Academic; David Lipscomb vs. Christian Academy of Knox.


Predicted Winner: Christian Academy of Knoxville

2009 State Champion: Univ. School Jackson (now in D-II A)


Notre Dame (13-1): Irish are led by singles region champ John Dorris (17-2) … Irish have not won a team title since back-to-back championships; 1963-64 …Irish lost in 2009 semis … ND is 49-10 the last four years under senior co-captains Chip Jabaley and Charlie Ponitz … Jabaley, who plans to walk on at Belarmine College (Ky.) is the nephew of three-time state wrestling champion James Jabaley … Ponitz is headed to Clemson in the fall but has earned the Hope Scholarship and most likely will transfer to Georgia for the spring semester.


Madison Academic … led by region champ Josh Ward … Ward and Dorris of ND will face each other in the team match in today’s team semis as well as in quarterfinals of state singles on Thursday … Madison’s doubles


David Lipscomb (12-3): top singles player in Region 5 singles runner-up Jim Hillin … No. 4 Chase Finley won the Jim McMeen Christian Character Award and in fifth in his class … returners are Hillin, Finley and Peyton Lester … Coach Lynn Gregory and his wife adopted a son from Haiti in 2009. he has taken several mission trips to Haiti ..is in his first year as head coach after 21 years as tennis coach at Lipscomb University … Jim Hillin’s dad was on coach Gregory’s first team in 1980 … Coach Gregory is a professor in the Kinesiology Department at Lipscomb.


Christian Academy of Knox. (15-1): CAK beat defending AAA state champs with only loss to Knox. Webb … led by undefeated doubles team of Will Sparks-Cameron Dickerson … have wins against D-II A region champs Harrison Smith-Trey Hatcher (Knox. Webb) and Michael Chen-Jorday Eddy (Science Hill) … Sparks is the son of coach Betsy Sparks … Sparks, Dickerson and Jon Allen play the top three spots in singles … Dickerson is the younger brother of state doubles champ James Dickerson (Bearden HS, 2000) a decade ago …


AAA Girls'

Semifinals: White Station vs. Science Hill; Ravenwood vs. Cleveland


Predicted Winner: White Station

2009 Champion: Science Hill


Science Hill: The Hilltoppers are defending state champs and beat White Station, 4-3, in the finals ... the two teams meet today in the semis … SH is led by 2009 state runner-up Allison Storie


White Station: The top five players all have nicknames; Kayla "Big Paisley" Jones, Kasey "The Beast" Spilman, Lauren "The Zen Master" Thomas, Maya "Bunny" Smith, and London "The Tactician" Thomas ... The Thomas girls’ are twins … the three sophomores – Jones, Spilman, Smith - are 4.0 students and their fathers are tennis pros in Memphis … White Station came within one game of the 2009 state title with only four players … Doubles team of Kayla Jones/Kasey Spilman are 13-1 and were 2009 state runners-up


Ravenwood (13-1): 2009 was first state semis appearance for 8th year program … girls’ have t-shirts” we plan to stay more than a day’’ … team GPA is an impressive 4.1 … no seniors in top five … sophomores Lauren Caballero-Madison Stankevich are region doubles champs … no egos on the team and players get along great says coach A.W. Speake.


Cleveland (14-1): … posted road wins at Cookeville and Siegel (to avenge regular season loss as as well as 2009 sub-state loss) to make the final four for second straight year … lost to eventual champ Science Hill in semis … led by region singles champ Kelsey Cantrell …

Catherine Jordan plays No. 1 singles … No. 4 Hollins McCarley graduated with 3.9 GPA and highest distinctive honors … Esha Rock is undefeated at No. 3 singles ... juniors Rock and Gabby Earby have 4.0 GPAs


Prediction: Ravenwood and White Station meet in the finals … In an exciting final, White Station wins the title that it nearly won a year ago … Kayla Jones of White Station could be the difference in the match.


AAA Boys'


State Semis: Brentwood vs. Science Hill; Houston vs. McMinn County


Predicted Winner: Brentwood

2009 Champions: Science Hill


Science Hill: led by region singles champ Michael Chen … beat Morristown West and Maryville to reach the semis … three-time defending AAA champion … also state champs in 2002.


Brentwood (18-1): only loss to Xavier (Ky.) … has been to state finals six times in the past nine years, winning it all in 2005 … today is re-match of 2009 final with Science Hill … top player is Alex Howard … No. 2 singles player is Drake Hernandez, the 2009 state singles runner-up ... first year coach is Andy Veal


McMinn County: The Cherokees are back to the semis after placing second to Science Hill in 2008 … led by region doubles champs Trey Royal-Josh Young … team posted road wins at Warren County and Siegel to reach the semis


Houston (19-0): Now in his 12th year at Houston, coach Tpny Benzing brings an undefeated squad to the final four … led by senior Chris Winstead … No. 4 Kerry Johnson is undefeated (So., 12-0) …No. 2 is Eric Mueller (Jr., 13-2) and No. 3 Billy Fickle (Fr., 11-1) … team has depth and wants to put a boys’ championship trophy next to the three on the girls’ side.


Prediction: Brentwood and Houston in the finals … Brentwood has been knocking on the door to the title for a few years and wins it all …


D-II AA Girls'


Semifinals: Baylor vs. Hutchison; Harpeth Hall vs. GPS


Predicted Winner: Baylor

2009 Champion: Hutchison


Hutchison: defending champion … led by 2009 state singles champ Hayly Humphreys …. But she is playing doubles with Maggie Donoghue in the individual tournament … Caroline Orr was region singles champ


Baylor (10-2): Talented Red Raider team with four eighth graders; twins Samantha and Harper Caswell, Maggie Crumbliss and McCall Morgan … twins are the daughters of head coach Ned Caswell, a former 35s world champion.


Harpeth Hall: is without top singles player Caitlin Caire whose is out of the country on vacation … parents thought Spring Fling dates were a week earlier .. Caire is a sophomore … coach Buffy Baker won state doubles title with Mary Lauren Barfield in 1986-87 as team claimed back-to-back state championships … Baker played at Florida State and is in the Seminoles hall of fame.


GPS (12–2): The Bruisers won the state in 2008 and are led by senior Sarah Evans … veteran team which includes returning starters Bronte Goodhue, Lauren Schlabach and Meredith Morrow … Emma McCallie (9th) and Williams (8th) won the region doubles … GPS is favored to beat Harpeth Hall in semis … can Bruisers anticipated finals opponent beat Baylor for the third time this season?


Prediction: Baylor …

Baylor vs. GPS in finals … can GPS beat Baylor three times in one season ? … Baylor should win its first title since 2000, but can the young Red Raiders sustain back-to-back matches with state champs the past two years in Hutchson and GPS.


D-II AA Boys


Semifinals: Baylor vs. McCallie; Memphis University School vs. Montgomery Bell Academy


Predicted Winner: MBA

2009 Champion: McCallie


McCallie (8-4): four-time defending state champs graduated top six players from 2009 team … Blue Tornado is led by Zeeshan Ismail … Scotty Webb and Logan Yerbey qualified for the state doubles … Webb’s dad, Scott, and Bobby Brouner’s uncle, Barry, were two-time state doubles champs; 1976-77


Baylor (12-0): faces McCallie in the semis … has two previous wins against the Blue Tornado this season … led by Carlos Cuevas, Anderson Scarpa and Michael Goldstein ... last team title was 1997 … Alex Cooper-Carlos Cuevas are region doubles champs and odds-on favorites to win the state


MUS: The Owls are led by seniors Cliff Guyton and Will Carruthers and won team titles; 2003-04-05 … also have talented young players in Will Sharp and Walker Sims.


MBA: Seniors Roger Briggs and Naveen Chadalavada lead Big Red .. lost to Baylor 4-3 during the season … Briggs played in 2006 state finals for MUS … then transferred to McCallie and earned a state championship ring in 2008 … transferred back to MBA last year ... has signed with Vandy … grandfather was Vandy net star Fred Carter …

Coach Zac Hood was 2000 state singles runner-up for MBA.


Prediction: MBA …

Baylor and MBA in the finals, but MBA must beat a talented MUS team in a thriller … will that match take too much out of Big Red or do they reverse the regular season loss and beat Baylor in the finals … MBA beats Baylor for its first title since 2003 … last time MBA and MUS met at state was 2005 finals with MUS winning, 4-0


D-II A/AA Girls'


Semis: Knox Webb vs. Univ. School Jackson; St. George’s vs. St. Andrews-Sewanee


Predicted Winner: St. George’s

2009 Champion: St. George’s


St. Andrews-Sewanee (11-3): Two-time defending champs are led by the Shackelford sisters, Sadie, Avery and Makaela … Sadie is two-time reigning state singles champ …

Coach Kelley Smith Black was on the 1990 University of the South team which placed fourth at the D-III NCAAs and coached by the Shackelford sisters’ mom, Conchie … the 1990 team is in the Sewanee hall of fame.


St. George’s: led by senior state champion doubles team of Sabrina Blum-Mary Ashley Seabrook … but teammates Libby Heflin-Benay Weintraub won the region crown ... Helfin plays No. 1 singles … Seabrook is a three-sport athlete with 4.0+ GPA

School nickname: Gryphons (body of a lion and wings and head of an eagle) … coach Jennifer Abston was a nationally-ranked junior and played at Tennessee and Univ. of Memphis … played at Ridgeway H.S. … member of Memphis area top 10 all-time “Best of Preps’’ team.


Knox Webb: (11-1) … young, but talented; four sophs and two eighth graders … led by doubles team of Vicki Garcia-Jenni Haydek … Vicki teamed with the sister, Guinn (now at Wofford) to win the 2009 and 2008 D-II AA doubles … Vicki’s aunts, Dena (2x singles), Mary Jane (doubles) and Rebecca (3x doubles) all won state titles … Sister, Guinn, also won 2006 state doubles title with Berkeley Brock …Webb won state titles in 2004-05.


University School Jackson (8-3): won 2009 state title in D-I A/AA … senior-laden team led by Madison Patey who is a three-time state singles runner-up … and made the state semis as an eighth grader in 2006 … Patey beat Katie McCall (Greenfield) four straight years in the region 7 finals … McCall won a D-I A/AA region title this year …

USJ also has region doubles champs in seniors Morgan Hancock and Madeline Crocker.


Prediction: St. George’s …

Both semis should be close … St. George’s and USJ in the finals with the Gryphons winning their first title … all four teams are solid in doubles and that could be the deciding factor … St. George’s has beaten USJ twice this season and it’s tough to beat a strong team three times …Webb should give USJ a fight in the semis if the young Spartan’s (two sophs and four eighth graders) don’t get rattled …


D-II A Boys'


Knox Webb vs. Franklin Road Academy; University School Jackson vs. Univ. School Nashville


Predicted Winner: Knox. Webb …

2009 Champion: USN


Webb (10-2): looking for school’s first boys’ tennis title … led by two-time D-II AA state singles champ Brandon Fickey … Spartans also have region doubles champs in Trey Hatcher-Harrison Smith .,.


Franklin Road Academy (10-6): The Panthers are led by region doubles runners-up Nathan Stein and Trey Williamson … FRA beat 2009 state finalist Lausanne, 4-3, on the road to earn a semis berth opposite Knox. Webb …


Univ. School Nashville (7-2): defending D-II A champs … third straight final four … led by 2009 state singles champ Alex Metzman … has two singles players and two doubles teams in the individual … semis match with USJ has 2009 state singles champs in Metzman and Colton Norton (USJ) …


Univ. School Jackson (9-4): led by 2009 D-I A/AA state singles champ Colton Norton … Norton, who is playing in his fourth state tourney in doubles, also won the state doubles title in 2006 as an eighth grader with then senior Lucas Guerra …


Prediction: Knox Webb and USN in the finals … Brandon Fickey (Webb) playing singles and doubles will be too much for the Tigers …



contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net

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