Tennis blog: Telfair County girls vying for third straight championship

The Telfair County girls tennis team is playing for the 2022 Class A Public championship.

Combined ShapeCaption
The Telfair County girls tennis team is playing for the 2022 Class A Public championship.

It wasn’t easy for the Telfair County girls to get back to the state tennis final. In fact, it took an extraordinary example of courage and determination to make it happen. Now the Trojans are in line to win their third straight Class A Public championship.

The big moment came in the semifinal match against Commerce. Telfair County had won at No. 1 singles and No. 2 doubles, but Commerce had won at No. 1 doubles and No. 3 singles. That left the match to be determined at No. 2 singles, where freshman Sophie Cook was upholding the family tradition of excellence.

When it came time to finish the match, Cook began to experience leg cramps on the last point.

“When she hit the last point, she screamed out in pain and grabbed her leg,” coach Heather Cowart said. “Then she hobbled across the court and hit it back, and she just kept on going and playing, even though she was in so much pain and she was falling all over the court. She didn’t want to give up. She did it for the team, even though her body was saying it was tired.”

The victory gave Telfair a 3-2 win over Commerce and put the Trojans back in the championship round. Telfair won girls championships in 2019 and 2021 – no championships were conducted in 2020.

Telfair County won the Region 4 championship and opened the playoffs by beating Clinch County 3-0. The Trojans followed with a 3-0 win over Armuchee and a 3-1 win over ACE Charter to reach the semifinals.

Telfair County will play Trion for the championship Saturday at the Tennis Center at Berry College in Rome.

There are plenty of legacy members of the team.

Beth Murphy, who plays No. 1 singles, is trying to finish her career with a third state championship.

Cook is trying to build on the success of her siblings; a brother and sister both played on title-winning teams. Mia Reese, an athletic senior, starts at No. 3 singles.

The No. 1 doubles team is made up of Madison Lockamy, a senior who is playing on the team for the first time, and her partner Jada Hilliard, a sophomore. The No 2 doubles team is made up of a pair of veterans – senior Cassie Taylor and junior Marcie Floyd.

Cowart, who is a graduate of Telfair County, is in her first season as the girls tennis coach.

The Telfair boys are also playing for the state championship. They will meet Lake Oconee County in the title game.