E.A. Sports Today

Faith boys state bound again

Lions crown 2 singles champions, reach finals in 7 of 9 spots

Faith Christian's boys tennis team celebrates a section title. From left, Jac Myrick, Andrew Gattrell, David Wall, Michael Kulick, Ryan Crosby, Ruston Rigsby.

Faith Christian’s boys tennis team celebrates a section title. From left, Jac Myrick, Andrew Gattrell, David Wall, Michael Kulick, Ryan Crosby, Ruston Rigsby.

By Dr. Jay Walker
For East Alabama Sports Today

GADSDEN – The Faith Christian boys tennis team won the Class 1A-3A Section 3 tournament to qualify for the State Tournament for the third time in the past four years.

The tournament had to be stopped and restarted several times over a span of three days due to rain, but the inclement weather could not slow down the Lions’ march to the title.

They sealed the crown with two champions and four finalists in Wednesday’s single play. They finished with 45 points, 10 ahead of runner-up Madison Academy. Donoho finished third (26).

Faith and Madison Academy advance to the state tournament Monday and Tuesday in Decatur.

Donoho finished a close third in the girls tournament, but did not advance.

Faith was in the lead after completion of the doubles draws on Tuesday. Junior David Wall and sophomore Michael Kulick led the way with a championship in No. 2 Doubles, defeating Madison Academy’s Grafton Barnett and Joey Wood, 11-9. Earlier Wall and Kulick defeated Nick Mosely and Will Edwards of Westbrook Christian, 8-4. Barnett and Wood took an 8-3 victory over Norwood Hodges and Patrick Huang of Donoho in their semifinals.

The Lions also reached the finals in both No. 1 Doubles and No. 3 Doubles to secure points for the early lead. Seniors Ryan Crosby and Andrew Gattrell defeated Westbrook’s Alex Cochran and Jay Dial, 8-5, in the semifinals, before falling to Madison Academy’s Dylan Young and Thomas Lambdin, 10-3, in the championship of No. 1 Doubles.

Young and Lambdin had defeated Ragland’s Alex and Tyler Thornton, 8-3, in their semifinals.

Donoho seventh graders Cooper Montgomery and David Hudson claimed a 10-2 finals win at No. 3 Doubles over Faith’s Ruston Rigsby and Jac Myrick. The Falcons reached the finals with a 8-4 win over Westbrook Christian’s Jonathan Jones and Hunter Benefield. Rigsby and Myrick blanked Sylvania’s Micah Paddock and Toby Hall, 8-0, in their semifinal.

Gattrell (No. 3) and Myrick (No. 6) won singles championships for the Falcons.

Gattrell cruised past Sylvania’s Tristan Turner, 8-2, in the semifinals, then upset top-seeded Grafton Barnett of Madison Academy in a back and forth 10-8 final. Barnett had upended Donoho’s Ben Myrick (older brother to Faith Christian’s Jac Myrick), 8-4, in their semifinal.

Jac Myrick dropped only five total games through three rounds to earn the No. 6 Singles title. He dispatched Sylvania’s Paddock, 8-1, in the semifinals, then defeated Westbrook’s Benefield, 10-4, in the championship.

Dylan Young of Madison Academy claimed top player for Section 3 by defeating Crosby of Faith Christian, 10-5, in the finals of No. 1 Singles. Crosby upset No. 2 seed Alex Cochran of Westbrook, 8-4, to reach the finals.

No. 2 Singles was claimed convincingly by Madison Academy’s Lambdin, 10-1, over Norwood Hodges of Donoho. Lambdin beat Faith Christian’s Wall, 8-5, in their semifinals, while Hodges won in his semifinals, 8-4, over top-seeded Jay Dial of Westbrook.

Seventh-grader Cooper Montgomery was the No. 4 Singles overall winner. He downed Faith Christian’s Kulick, 8-3, in the semifinals. He defeated Wood of Madison Academy, 10-7, in the finals.

The ending of the girls’ tournament was much more dramatic and not decided until the last matches played. Madison Academy edged out Whitesburg Christian, 54-53, for the Section title.

Madison Academy was led by three-time state Singles Champion Sydney Homan, the granddaughter of former Alabama All-American and NFL football player Dennis Homan. The senior did not drop a game in her march to the No. 1 Singles title, and only dropped two games in three matches with partner Erin Young to claim No. 1 Doubles.

The rain worked in favor of Homan in that she was able to attend the Bryant-Jordan Scholarship banquet where she was honored Monday night.

Homan rolled over Westbrook Christian’s Taylor Cornutt in the semifinals and Donoho’s Nina Bidikov in the finals. Bidikov had reached the finals with an 8-0 victory over Amber Richardson of Whitesburg Christian.

The Mustang’s Young was also a double champion, taking the No. 2 Singles title. Young only dropped 1 game in 3 rounds. She defeated Donoho’s Brooke Brascho in the semifinals before blanking Whitesburg Christian’s Madison Tate in the finals.

Tate had earlier taken her semifinals match, 8-0, over Faith Christian’s Regan Crosby.

Donoho’s Camille Fink earned the No. 3 Singles championship with a hard-fought 11-9 win over top-seeded M.E. Cobb of Whitesburg Christian. Earlier Fink cruised past Kathleen Ogden of Madison Academy, 8-1, in the semifinal.

Cobb had reached the finals by defeating Westbrook Christian’s McKenzie Saunders, 8-3.

Madison Academy earned another title when Aly French defeated #1 seed Wittney Brown of Donoho, 10-8, at No. 4 Singles. Brown dispatched Zana Christjohn of Faith Christian, 8-2, to reach the finals.

Madison Academy won a fourth singles crown at No. 5 Singles. Callie Kramer put away Westbrook Christian’s Mallory McGinnis for the championship, 10-4. McGinnis reached the finals with an 8-4 victory over Rivers Owsley of Donoho.

Seventh-grader Emma Wiedmer won the No. 6 Singles title for Donoho, 10-8, over Melanie Ponce of Whitesburg Christian. Wiedmer had an even closer match in the semifinals, prevailing 9-8 (7-4) over Madison Academy’s Bailey French.

Homan and Young’s No. 1 Doubles championship came at the expense of Tate and Cobb of Whitesburg Christian, 10-1. Tate and Cobb reached the finals with an 8-5 win over Donoho’s Bidikov and Fink.

Donoho’s Brascho and Brown earned the No. 2 Doubles championship when they beat Whitesburg Christian’s Richardson and Batey, 10-7. Earlier the Falcons’ No. 2 team cruised past Madison Academy’s Kramer and Aly French, 8-1.

The Whitesburg Christian team of Spivey and Ponce earned the No. 3 Doubles crown with a 10-3 win over McGinnis and Goodwin of Westbrook Christian. The winners had to take a tiebreak over Donoho’s Owsley and Wiedmer, 9-8 (7-2), to reach the finals.

Westbrook Christian’s No. 3s slipped past Madison Academy’s Bailey French and Kathleen Ogden, 9-7, in their semifinals.

Class 1A-3A Section 3 Championship

Boys Results
Faith Christian 45
Madison Academy 35
Donoho 26
Westbrook Christian 21
Sylvania 11
Plainview 6
Ragland 3
Pleasant Valley 0

Girls Results
Madison Academy 54
Whitesburg Christian 53
Donoho 50
Westbrook Christian 36
Plainview 9
Pleasant Valley 5
Faith Christian 4
Sacred Heart 0
Sylvania 0

Dr. Jay Walker is the section director.

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