Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. You can donate through PayPal at the link on the bottom of the page. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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(L-R) Emma Brisendine, Hannah Nauck (captain), Maggie Nauck, Taylor Smith, Bella Holliday, Andie Crenshaw, Kaleigh O’Neal and Mackenzie Cline. Submitted photo.

(L-R) Nate Richardson, Tripp Larkey, John Tomko, Blayne Sammons, Landon Watts, Grayson Child (captain), and Devin Smith. Submitted photo.
Pike Tennis Teams Win Region Championships
By Guest Columnist Todd Child

ZEBULON - The boys and girls tennis teams celebrated a region championships on April 10th. The Pirates traveled to John Drew Tennis Center in Macon for the Region 4-AAA tournament. The Pirates finished the regular season 11-2 and undefeated in region play with the Lady Pirates at 12-2 and also undefeated in region play.

Both teams handled their first opponents easily, both winning 5-0. The Lady Pirates defeated Rutland. Kaleigh O’Neal led the way with an 8-2 victory followed by Andie Crenshaw at 8-0, Bella Holliday 8-2, the doubles team of Taylor Smith and Emma Brisendine also at 8-0 and Hannah Nauck and Mackenzie Cline finishing Rutland off with an 8-1 victory.

The girls met a strong Westside team in the championship round. The fought hard and stayed tough all the way. Kaleigh O’Neal won her second match of the day winning 6-2, 6-1. With tough losses by Crenshaw and Holliday, the Lady Pirates needed two more wins to seal the victory. Both doubles rose to the occasion. Smith/Brisendine had a solid win at 6-0, 6-1 followed by Nauck/Cline at 6-1, 6-1 to secure the region championship.

The Lady Pirates also celebrated two of its players making the Region 4-AAA All-Region Team. Kaleigh O’Neal was named Region Player of the Year with Andie Crenshaw also making the team.

The boys’ team would be outdone. The Pirates took the court against Peach County to begin their quest. The 5-0 victory was started by senior Devin Smith who delivered an 8-1 win, followed by Grayson Child at 8-4, Blayne Sammons 8-3, Nate Richardson and Tripp Larkey at 8-2, and Landon Watts and John Tomko at 8-5.

The championship round saw Pike and Jackson battling for the title. Jackson proved to be tougher than they had been during the regular season.

Devin Smith gave the team a win at 6-0, 6-0 to but early pressure on Jackson. The doubles teams battled their opponents back and forth with both teams taking their matches to third set tiebreakers. Richardson/Larkey lost 7-6, 5-7, 7-10 and Watts/Tomko lost 3-6, 6-4, 7-10. The championship came down to the two remaining singles matches. Grayson Child defeated his opponent 6-1, 6-3 . Blayne Sammons battled his opponent in strongly contested match. Sammons won his first set 6-0 but the Jackson Red Devil picked up his game and took the lead on Sammons late in the second set. Sammons fought back and would not be denied the victory. Sammons won the second set 7-5. The Pirates had secured the region championship, their second in a row.

The Pirates also placed two players on the Region 4-AAA All-Region Team. Devin Smith was named Region Player of the Year for the second year in a row with Grayson Child also making the team for his second time.

The Pirates will play Jenkins County in the first round of state.

Submitted 4.16.18