E.A. Sports Today

Red Wilder winners

Champions sweep; shorthanded Donoho wins fourth straight girls title, Oxford wins third straight boys crown

Harper Pumroy was inserted into the Donoho singles lineup and she won the No. 5 singles crown. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today
OXFORD – There appears to be very little relief ahead for the rest of the Calhoun County girls tennis teams after the shorthanded Donoho Lady Falcons won all their singles matches Saturday to come from behind and win the 2019 Red Wilder Invitational and claim the girl’s county team championship.
Meanwhile, the Oxford boys won every match they played and cruised to their third straight county championship with 54 points. Jacksonville was second with 18 points and Faith Christian third with 17.

Claire Hillman was bumped up from No. 2 to No. 1 in Donoho’s lineup and won the girls title without losing a game. (Photo by B.J. Franklin) 

Donoho was behind six points going into Saturday’s singles matches and had other issues as their No. 1 and No. 3 seeds were away on a school trip.
No problem for head coach Laurie Rigsby. She elevated No. 2 Claire Hillman to play as a No. 1 seed and Claire Walker from the 5 to No. 2. Lily Grace Draper was a 4-seed and moved up to 3. Harper Pumroy was inserted into the rotation at 5 and the Lady Falcons played with just five players.
They all picked up the challenge, along with 4-seed Mary Marshall Perry, and won all their matches to win their respective county championships and give the Lady Falcons their fourth straight title.
The Lady Falcons ended up with 39 points, six ahead of first-day leader and runner-up Faith Christian. Oxford was third (16).
“I was hoping we still had a chance to win the team title again, even though we had to forfeit the 6 singles and 3 doubles match,” Rigsby said. “I challenged our girls to prove that we could play up and they did.”
Hillman marched through the 1-seed bracket winning all three matches 6-0, 6-0, 6-0. The eighth-grader won all her matches the last two years and has never lost a county match. She defeated Jacksonville’s Molly Wilson, Pleasant Valley’s Karina Jones and Faith Christian’s Zana Christjohn on her march to victory.
“It was fun having to play up and play new people that were very good players with different styles,” Hillman said. “It just feels good to be able to win the matches.”
Walker had the biggest jump as she moved up three seeds and her grinding 7-6 (7-5) win over Faith’s Sarah Jessica Christjohn clinched the team title. She defeated Oxford’s Kaelyn Albright 6-1 in the No. 2 finals.
The singles format was shortened to six-game sets due to rain delays.
Draper, another eighth-grader, kept her two-year unbeaten streak alive in the county tournament as she beat Faith’s Kristin Covington and Oxford’s Caroline Rogers. Perry defeated Pleasant Valley’s Allison Voss, Jacksonville’s Tyler Reyes and Faith’s Meagan Ford for the No. 4 title. Pumroy defeated Faith’s Dacey Dunaway and Rebecca Travis at No. 5.
Faith’s Kassidy Nix defeated Pleasant Valley’s Chloe Crum and Oxford’s Channing Gallaher to win the No. 6 title.

The Oxford boys won every match they played. First-year Yellow Jackets coach Riley Jones was excited about his team’s play.

Oxford’s Seth Turner follows through on a big serve
during one of his No. 3 singles matches.
(Photo by B.J. Franklin) 

“Coach (Jesse) Martin left a lot a gold mine of players here,” Jones said. “These seniors have been playing together since the eighth grade. They are hard-working, self- motivated and easy to coach. They get upset when practice is called off.”
Ben Reimer captured the No. 1 title with a 6-1 win over Faith’s Jac Myrick. He won the title game in a forfeit when Jacksonville’s Cole Gaddy had to leave for a school prom. It was his second title in the last three years.

“It was disappointing; I really wanted to play,” Reimer said.
Chase White captured the No. 2 singles title with wins over Faith’s Braden Stacks and Jacksonville’s Brett Nash. Seth Turner had very little problems winning at No. 3, with wins over Pleasant Valley’s Reed Fulmer and Jacksonville’s Brodie Yarbrough.
Landon MaCoy won straight-set victories over Jacksonville’s Ammon Record and Faith’s Evan Miller at No. 4. Ethan Fuller took the No. 5 title with wins over Jacksonville’s Braden Hodge and Faith eighth-grader Eli Mitchell. Josh Whaley completed the sweep at No. 6 with wins over Jacksonville’s Caleb Nunn and Faith’s Gavin Randall.
To see a gallery of photos from Saturday’s matches visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

Boys No. 1 singles champion Ben Reimer of Oxford won his second county title in three years Saturday. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

Team scores:
Oxford 54, Jacksonville 18, Faith Christian 17, Donoho 7, Pleasant Valley 3.
No. 1 Singles:  Harrison Han (D) d. Trent Findley (PV), 6-1; Cole Gaddy (J) d. Han (D), 6-2; Ben Reimer (O) d. Jac Myrick (F), 6-1; Finals – Reimer (O) d. Gaddy (J), default.
No. 2 Singles:  Jack Ballard (D) d. Dakota Parr (PV), 6-4; Brett Noah (J) d. Ballard (D), 6-3; Chase White (O) d. Braden Stacks (F), 6-0; Finals – White (O) d. Noah (J), 6-1.
No. 3 Singles:  Seth Turner (O) d. Reese McWhorter (D), 6-0; Turner (O) d. Reed Fulmer (PV), 6-0; Ammon Record (J) d. Brodie Yarbrough (F), 6-1; Finals – Turner (O) d. Record (J), 6-2.
No. 4 Singles:  Evan Miller (F) d. Zach Cater (D), 6-4; Miller (F) d. Joseph Johnson (PV), 6-2; Landon MaCoy (O) d. Mason Bayles (J), 6-0; Finals – MaCoy (O) d. Miller (F), 6-0.
No. 5 Singles:  Ethan Fuller (O) d. Braden Hodge (J), 6-2; Eli Mitchell (F) d. Jacob Teal (PV), 6-2; Finals – Fuller (O) d. Mitchell (F), 6-3.
No. 6 Singles:  Gavin Randall (F) d. Christian Friedman (PV), 6-3; Josh Whaley (O) d. Caleb Nunn (J), 6-2; Finals – Whaley (O) d. Randall (F), 6-0.
Team scores:
Donoho 39, Faith Christian 33, Oxford 16, Jacksonville 6, Pleasant Valley 0.
No. 1 Singles:  Claire Hillman (F) d. Molly Wilson (J), 6-0; Hillman (D) d. Karina Jones (PV), 6-0; Zana Christjohn (F) d. Abby Reimer (O), 6-1; Finals – Hillman (D) d. Christjohn (F), 6-0.
No. 2 Singles:  Sarah Jessica Christjohn (F) d. Maci Meadows (PV), 6-1; Claire Walker (D) d. Christjohn (F), 7-6 (8-6); Kaelyn Albright (O) d. Natalie Patterson (J), 7-6 (7-5); Finals – Walker (D) d. Albright (O), 6-2.
No. 3 Singles:  Caroline Rogers (O) d. Rileigh Kirsch (PV), 6-0; Rogers (O) d. Kristin Covington (F), 6-4; Lily Grace Draper (D) d. Andreea Trifas (J), 6-0; Finals – Draper (D) d. Rogers (O), 6-1.
No. 4 Singles:  Mary Marshall Perry (D) d. Allison Vess (PV), 6-0; Perry (D) d. Tyler Reyes (J), 6-0;Meagan Ford (F) d. KaLee Spears (O), 6-2; Finals – Perry (D) d. Ford (F), 6-1.
No. 5 Singles:  Jasmine Brown (O) d. Anna Duke (J), 6-0; Dacey Dunaway (F) d. Brown (O), 6-0; Harper Pumroy (D) d. Rebecca Travis (PV), 6-0; Finals – Pumroy (D) d. Dunaway (F), 6-1.
No. 6 Singles:  Kassidy Nix (F) d. Chloe Cram (PV), 6-1; Finals – Nix (F) d. Channing Gallahar (O), 6-4.

Oxford’s Chase White returns a shot on his road to winning the No. 2 boys singles title. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

Cover photo: Donoho’s girls overcame some hurdles to win their fourth straight Wilder/County championship. (Photo by Brant Locklier)

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