With the regular season slated to end today (Wednesday), the Jefferson tennis teams will have to wait for their chance to qualify for state competition.
And the key word here is wait.
The Jefferson boys’ and girls’ tennis won’t play in the region tournament until April 14, the Thursday after Jefferson students return from spring break.
“I’m not a real big fan of it,” coach Mike Paul said of the layoff. “But there’s nothing you can really do about it.”
Jefferson’s boys (8-1) will enter the region tournament – which will be hosted by North Oconee – as a no. 2 seed by virtue of their 4-1 mark in 8-AA South subregion play. Their lone blemish was a March 3 loss to the Titans.
The Jefferson girls (6-4) are a no. 3 seed after going 3-2 with losses to first-place North Oconee (March 3) and second-place Hart County (Feb. 24).
Jefferson’s tennis players will be scattered al over the place during spring break, which will mean a lot of down time. The team will reconvene for practice three days before the start of the 8-AA tournament.
“Hopefully, we’ll get back and have three good days of practice in,” Paul said.
The coach noted that everyone else in the region is in a similar situation.
“We’ll see,” Paul said. “Everybody is on spring break next week.”
Both teams need to win just once at region to earn a pass to the state tournament. All matches after that are for seeding purposes. Both Jefferson teams hope to be sharp coming off spring vacation, especially in an event that will determine their state tournament fate.
“It all comes down to how you play on one particular day,” Paul said.
Jefferson is slated to close the regular season today against Class A power Athens Academy — weather permitting.
•JEFFERSON 3, MORGAN CO. 2: The Dragons received their victories in singles play Tuesday as Jefferson picked up a close, non-region win at home. Zach Bost (6-1, 6-0), Blair Buffington (6-0, 6-1) and Ben Daniel (6-0, 6-2) won no. 1, 2 and 3 singles respectively.
•JEFFERSON 5, EAST HALL 0: The Jefferson boys team got a preview of a team from the other side of the region Thursday, beating 8-AA North team East Hall 5-0.
The Dragons dominated singles play with Zach Bost (6-1, 6-0), Blair Buffington (6-0, 6-0) and Ben Daniel (6-0, 6-0) all winning convincingly. Jefferson’s doubles teams also had a solid afternoon with Brandon Clabo and Jordan Tyler winning 6-1, 6-2 at no. 1 doubles and Austin Pratt and Andrew James winning 7-5, 6-1 at no. 2 doubles.
•JEFFERSON 3, MORGAN CO. 2: Bell Blankenship (6-2, 6-1) Taylor Bost (7-5, 6-0) and Tristan McGarity (6-1, 6-0) all won Tuesday at no. 1, 2 and 3 singles respectively as the Lady Dragons picked up a non-region win at home.
•JEFFERSON 4, EAST HALL 1: Jefferson’s girls picked up a region cross-over win Thursday, beating East Hall 4-1. Bell Blankenshipo (6-2, 6-0) and Taylor Bost (6-1, 6-0) won at no. 1 and 2 singles, while Amanda Burgamy filled in at no. 3 singles and won 6-0, 6-1. The no. 1 doubles team of Chelsea Runkel and Savannah Snapp won a three set match 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.