The Madison County boys’ tennis team didn’t win a region title this year but doesn’t plan to be strangers to the Region 8-AAAA finals.
The Red Raiders, who fell 3-1 to Heritage Friday in the region title match, have a bright future ahead of them, coach Keith Strickland said.
“We are very young and look forward to building on what we have accomplished this year and carrying it into next season,” Strickland said.
Still, the Red Raiders’ season continues. They’ll play today (Thursday) in the first round of state at 4 p.m. at home against Whitewater out of Region 5-AAAA.
As for the 8-AAAA tournament, this was Madison County’s first trip to the region finals in three years. The loss to a senior-laden Heritage outfit was the Red Raiders’ lone region defeat this year in an otherwise spotless season. Madison County (14-3 overall) finished region play at 12-1, winning the North subregion during the regular season.
“As a team, we reached our goals of winning the North subregion championship and gaining a no. 1 seed to help us attain a state tournament bid,” Strickland said. “We are very pleased that we reached the finals.”
Madison County breezed through its first two rounds, blanking Apalachee 4-0 and beating Loganville 3-1 before being stopped by Heritage.
Strickland noted several efforts at specific positions.
The no. 2 doubles tandem of Connor Hancock and Josh Dooley won all three of its matches, while the no. 1 doubles team of Jake Scarborough and Chris Dove “played some inspired tennis the first two rounds,” Strickland said.
The coach also praised Trey Morris and Jeffrey Branson for their play against some of the region’s best tennis players the semifinals and finals.
Heritage’s experience, however, made the difference in the end.
“In the finals, Heritage’s seasoned team was just too strong for us,” Strickland said, noting that six of Heritage’s seven starters are seniors.