Bleckley County sweeps Class 2A tennis championships

Article and photos courtesy of the Macon Telegraph –> Original Article Here

Bleckley County tennis head coach Brad Sanders waited 26 years to get his first state championship. Then he ended up getting two of them on the same day.

The Bleckley County girls blew past Screven County 3-0 in the Class 2A girls final and the boys defeated Model 3-2 in their championship match at the Clayton County International Park.

“This was really special because so many of my former players were here to watch us,” Sanders said.

In the girls match, No. 1 singles player Abby Sims defeated Pamela Dixon 6-3, 6-1 to get the ball rolling. Hanna Dykes at No. 2 singles rolled by Kristen Thomas 6-2, 6-1.

The match ended when the No. 1 doubles team of Regan Cole and Bailey Odom beat Ansley Dirst and Ansley Thompson 6-1, 6-1. Odom had to come off the reserve list to play when Jordan Williams injured her hamstring on Wednesday and could not go.

“(Odom) is a good player. It’s nice to have someone like that on the bench,” Sanders said.

The girls made quick work of their business, which allowed Sanders to spend more time watching the boys match.

“The girls match was pretty uneventful,” Sanders said. “They were playing at same time, so I figured out pretty quickly I needed to pay attention to the boys.”

The boys match was a bit more dramatic.

Bleckley County’s Harsh Patel opened with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Kyle Hale at No. 1 singles. But Model’s Parker Stone beat Blake Bohannon 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2.

 Meanwhile, the teams were splitting the doubles matches. Bleckley County’s No. 1 team of Dayton Cannon and Will Collins beat John Weaver and Stephen Boylan 7-6, 6-3, only to have Model’s No. 2 team of Sam Bryant and David Mountain prevail 6-1, 6-3 over Austin Bland and Connor Floyd.

That left the No. 3 singles as the deciding match, and Bronson Sanders took care of business, beating Chase Geier 6-0, 6-1 to give the Royals the championship.

Sanders was pleased to get a win, especially after coming close numerous times.

“When the (regions) changed, I figured we had a better chance,” Sanders said. “My whole thought process is that the girls had a better chance than the boys. To be honest, I didn’t know if the boys would beat Thomasville. When we got (that) win, I had no idea about Model. We were living right at that moment.”

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