DESPITE one of its better efforts of the year, the Jefferson boys’ tennis team couldn’t overcome a team out of mighty Region 6-AA.
The third-seeded Dragons were beaten 3-1 Tuesday at home in the Sweet 16 by a Decatur squad that earned a no. 4 seed out of 6-AA despite carrying a no. 5 ranking in the Class AA polls.
The loaded Atlanta-area tennis region boasts six teams in the top 10.
“I’m proud of these kids,” Jefferson coach Mike Paul said. “Sweet 16, you can’t take that away from them.”
Zach Bost, who has committed to Appalachian State, provided Jefferson’s lone victory, winning easily at no. 1 singles 6-0, 6-1. Gage Thompson lost 7-5, 6-3 at no. 2 singles after leading the first set 4-1. The no. 2 doubles duo of Brandon Clabo and Austin Pratt lost 6-1, 2-6, 4-6. Jordan Tyler and Jackson Howard’s match at no. 1 doubles was suspended.
“Our kids played as well as they could,” Paul said. “I haven’t seen our doubles kids play any better.”
While Bost rolled in singles play, Thompson and Justin Harrison ran into tough opponents at no. 2 and no. 3 singles respectively.
“Zach took care of business, and Gage played a really tough opponent,” Paul said. “Justin fought hard and was overmatched. He’s just a freshman.”
Paul points out that Jefferson has some youth coming back.
“Our two and three singles were both freshmen,” Paul said. “And our one doubles was a freshman and sophomore so we’ve got some talent coming back. I’m real pleased with the effort and we’ve got a little bit to build on.”
Of course, Jefferson will lose one of the best players to come through its program with the graduation of Bost. Bost will officially sign with Appalachian State Friday.
“You’re not going to replace a kid like Zach Bost,” Paul said. “You only get one of those, maybe two of them, in your career.”