Tennis blog: Ten teams to defend titles at state championships in Rome

Berry College is planning a 100-room hotel next to the Rome Tennis Center on its campus. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED.

Berry College is planning a 100-room hotel next to the Rome Tennis Center on its campus. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED.

Five boys teams and five girls teams will be trying to defend their titles when the GHSA hosts its tennis championships on Saturday at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College.

Sixteen classifications – eight boys and eight girls – will determine champions. The girls competition begins at 9 a.m. and the boys start at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased on

Defending champions returning are (boys) Johns Creek, Marist, Westminster, Wesleyan and Lake Oconee Academy and (girls) Walton, Marist, Northview, Pace Academy and Wesleyan.

One of the most intriguing matches is in Class 6A boys, where Johns Creek will play Marist. Johns Creek has won four straight championships – the state’s longest active championship streak -- and six overall. Marist has won two straight and 14 since 1995, when the GHSA dropped the singles competition and went to a team-only format.

In Class 2A, a couple of schools will win their first state championships. In the boys division, the finals are Fellowship Christian and Mount Paran Christian, while Jefferson and Berrien meet in the girls division. None of those teams have won a state title. The same situation will occur in Class A Division II girls, where either Christian Heritage or Johnson County will claim its first state trophy.

Others seeking their first state title are (boys) West Forsyth, Atlanta International and (girls) North Gwinnett, Alpharetta and North Hall.

The Walton girls, led by two-time AJC Player of the Year Hayden Mulberry, will be trying to win their23rd title. The Raiders are undefeated and have lost only four lines all year – two of them to Class 6A finalist Marist in the final meet of the regular season. Walton has won its four playoff matches 3-0.

Here is the schedule for the championship games. All teams will start at the same time on the 57-court facility.

Girls: 7A – North Gwinnett vs. Walton; 6A – Alpharetta vs. Marist; 5A – Northview vs. Chattahoochee; 4A – North Hall vs. Pace Academy; 3A – Wesleyan vs. Savannah Country Day; 2A – Jeff Davis vs. Berrien; Class A Division I – Darlington vs. Mount Vernon; Division II – Christian Heritage vs. Johnson County.

Boys: 7A – West Forsyth vs. Lambert; 6A – Johns Creek vs. Marist; 5A – Chattahoochee vs. Greater Atlanta Christian; 4A – North Oconee vs. Westminster; 3A – Wesleyan vs. Savannah Country Day; 2A – Fellowship Christian vs. Mount Paran Christian; Class A Division I – Mount Vernon vs. Atlanta International; Division II – Lake Oconee Academy vs. Taylor County.