Brookwood, Walton recapture tennis magic

John Gardner

The Brookwood boys and Walton girls each claimed the Class AAAAA state titles in 2011, only to come up short in 2012. For Walton, the loss snapped a streak of eight straight titles. Walton was able to beat Peachtree Ridge by taking both doubles points before pulling out a win at No. 3 singles when Johanna Keeline won 6-0, 7-5 to clinch the title. Walton has won 11 titles since 2001. For Brookwood, the championship is the second in three years and the sixth since 1996, the most for a single program competing at the highest GHSA classification in that time span. The Broncos earned both doubles points before Zach Jennings clinched the title at No. 2 singles against North Cobb’s Andre Canino. … Starr’s Mill traveled to Clayton County eyeing a Class AAAAA sweep and the boys blanked Union Grove 3-0, but the girls came up just short with a 3-2 loss to Lakeside-Evans. It was the first state title for the Lakeside-Evans girls tennis program as Anneliese Leahy rallied from down one set to take the 2-6, 7-6, 6-4 win. … Columbus is known for success on the baseball field and soccer pitch, but now the boys tennis team can put a GHSA state title in the trophy case after beating Madison County 3-1 for the AAA title. Parker Bray’s victory in singles play clinched the win after Columbus snagged both doubles points off Madison County. … The Marist girls have had to live in the shadow of the Walton title streak in recent years, but the War Eagles won their fourth title in five years with a 3-0 win over LaGrange. Marist has won 16 titles since 1995, including an incredible run of 12-straight from 1995-2006. … Blessed Trinity pulled off the sweep of Class AAA with the girls winning the program’s fifth-straight crown and the boys taking their first since 2010. … Westminster also managed a sweep in Class AA as the girls beat out Lovett 3-1 and the boys blanked Wesleyan 3-0. For the boys, it was the program’s 12th title in the last 13 years. Blessed Trinity’s win in 2010 was the only year since 2000 that the Wildcats have failed to win a tennis crown. The Westminster girls had not won a title since 2003. … Marion County and Walker won the boys Class A titles while Walker and Baconton Charter won the girls titles. The Baconton Charter victory was the school’s first state title in any sport.

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