Under Pressure: Boys Tennis Season Wrap-Up

John Hurst, Staff Writer

The Boys Tennis team had a successful and hard-fought season this year. The Generals ended up making it to the GHSA State Sweet 16 and fell just short of the Elite Eight. The season began, though, with a win against Southeast Whitfield, 4-1. The next day, the boys lost in an extremely close match against Central Carrollton, 3-2, with Nathan Minton and Kaleb Biddle winning their Singles matches. From there, the Generals embarked on a five-game winning streak, besting Gordon Lee (5-0), Pickens (4-0), Ridgeland (5-0), Northwest Whitfield (3-2), and Christian Heritage (3-2). The streak came to an end in a hard-fought match against Cedartown, 4-1, with Kaleb Biddle being the lone Singles win. Nonetheless, the team went on to finish third at the Region tournament, qualifying for the State competition. At State, the boys defeated Fayette County in the first round, 5-0, to advance to the Sweet 16. As Coach Green put it, “we had a team that could have gone far in the State tournament, but we fell short at Benedictine,” losing 3-1. 

Several players had a really good year, with the Singles guys having a combined record of 35-7. “That’s huge,” said Coach Green. Junior Kaleb Biddle had a singles record of 14-1, senior JT Halleron had a singles record of 9-4, and Nathan Minton went 12-2 on the year. “Our Doubles teams were also pretty good all year,” said Coach Green. More specifically, he said, “the Doubles teams of Jedd Johnson with Tanner Eady and Walker Driskell with Anderson Britton had very solid years.” For many members of the team, one teammate in particular stood out as a leader and as a player: Nathan Minton. “Nathan Minton really stood out to me,” said Halleron. “He is always able to keep his cool under the most pressure. It is very hard to accomplish that, especially being in some of the positions I have seen him in.” Kaleb Biddle also singled out Nathan, noting that he “became a great leader of our team and was a good reason for why we were successful.” 

This was also Coach Green’s first season coaching the boy’s team. Though this was his first season with the boys, Coach Green made an instant impact on the team and players. Jedd Johnson and several other players stated how much Coach Green helped them this season: ‘Coach Green was an amazing coach this year, and he really helped me a ton,” said Jedd. “I have never truly had coaching in tennis and so this was different for me and it really helped me. From footwork to actual game time plays, he always had great advice to give and was very supportive.” Coach Green was “very satisfied” with the season overall, noting that “the guys played hard all year.” Coach Green has certainly helped put the Boys Tennis teams’ name on the map in the State of Georgia, and he hopes to make it even further in State with the boys next season.