2021 GHSA Tennis State Championship Preview

ajc.com

By Graham David

The 2021 GHSA Tennis State Championships are set to take place this Saturday at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College. With last year’s season cut short amidst the cancellations of spring sports due to Covid-19, this year’s heavily anticipated championship gives its participating athletes a long-awaited chance to take home the state title for their schools. A total of 16 state titles will be awarded with the girls taking to the courts first thing in the morning, and the boys starting in the early afternoon.

Throughout the regular season, players were subjected to several modifications to the standard rules enforced during competition to accommodate for Covid-19. Now in the state championships, teams will return to playing under regular rules.

For the girls, the Class A Private title will be won by either Mt. Paran Christian or First Presbyterian, with both looking to claim their first state title in school history. Telfair County won the 2019 state title in Class A Public, and after a year away is back in the finals to try and repeat. The Lady Trojans will be paired up against Irwin County, who is no stranger to state championships either. The Indians have brought home five state titles, including three consecutive finals victories from 2014-2016.

In Class 2A, the Lovett Lady Lions will face-off against the defending champion Pace Academy Lady Knights. The Knights 2019 victory gave them their fourth title in school history, and Lovett will be in search for its first state title since 2004. Greater Atlanta Christian will be tasked with beating the decorated Westminster Lady Wildcats in Class 3A, who have a total of 20 state titles to their name. In Class 4A, the North Oconee Titans will be searching for their first title since their three consecutive finals victories from 2016-2018. They’ll be matched up against a decorated Marist program, who claimed the 4A title in 2019 to give the Lady War Eagles their 25th title in school history.

The Class 5A finals features a matchup between McIntosh and Northview, with the Lady Chiefs looking to claim their first title in school history. Defending champs Cambridge will look to defend their spot at the top of Class 6A against a Johns Creek program searching for its first title since 2012. In the state’s highest classification, Walton returns to the finals after winning six straight from 2013-2018 to take on Lambert, who claimed the title in 2019, its first in school history.

For the Boys, North Gwinnett will be searching for its first state title in school history in the state’s highest classification. The Bulldogs will be paired up against Lambert, who took home its first title in 2017. In Class 6A, the Cambridge Bears will try to claim their first state title against a Johns Creek program that claimed the past two titles in the classification. Class 5A features a matchup between Woodward Academy and Grady. The War Eagles are no strangers to the finals and will be in search of their eighth title as the Knight’s try to bring home their first.

The Marist War Eagles had a dominant run in Class 4A from 2014-2017, winning all four state titles. The previous two titles, however, were won by the North Oconee Titans. Now, the two programs meet in this year’s finals to try and add another title to their names. In Class 3A, Westminster will take on Greater Atlanta Christian. Westminster, one of the most decorated programs in the state with 21 state titles, will try to deny the Spartans their eighth title, and first since 2015.

In 2019, the Class 3A title was won by Pace Academy with a 3-2 victory over Lovett. Now, both teams find themselves in the Class 2A finals, giving the Lions a shot at redemption against the Knights. After a runner-up finish in 2019, Seminole County returns to the Class A Public finals to take on Screven County, with both programs looking for their first state title in school history. In Class A Private, the Stratford Academy Eagles will look to defend their spot at the top against Wesleyan, and take home their fourth consecutive state title.

The girls will report to the courts at 8-8:30 a.m., with their competition starting at 9:00 a.m. The boys will report between 12-12:30 p.m., and will begin play at 1:00 p.m.