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Boys Tennis Comes Up Short in State Championship, Falls to The Walker School

JONESBORO, Ga. – Senior Daniel Strawn knew it was going to be close going into the GHSA Class A State Championship match.

He was right.

The First Presbyterian Day School boys tennis team dropped its final match of the season 3-1 to The Walker School in a tension-filled showdown to finish as the GHSA Class A State runner-up on Saturday, May 11 at the Clayton County International Park.

Down in an early 2-0 hole after dropping both doubles matches, the Vikings needed to win all of their singles matches to win the championship.

Miller Durham, Wednesday’s hero in the semifinals, quickly won his No. 3 singles match 6-0, 6-0 to give the Vikings hope.

Strawn, the senior left-hander, was down a set in his No. 1 singles match to Derrick Brown and faced match point in the second set, but rallied multiple times to force a second set tiebreaker that he went on to win. Strawn and Brown were locked in a tight battle in the third but Walker’s Alan Norsworthy topped FPD’s Michael Durham in a brutal three set slugfest at the No. 2 spot to clinch the victory for the Wolverines.

Michael Durham won the first set over Norsworthy 6-3, but dropped the final two sets 6-4, 6-4 to give the Walker School its third win of the match.

Despite the loss, head coach Derek Lashley said he is proud of the team’s accomplishments this season.

“It’s an amazing feeling knowing how well we did this year,” Lashley said. “We got together (on January 7) and thought we had a special team and I think we proved it.”

Lashley added that even though the Vikings came up short, the camaraderie and dedication is what was most impressive over the course of the season.

“Everyone that made the team did something to get us to this point and they poured out their heart and soul into every match,” Lashley said.

The loss also brings an end to the stellar FPD career of senior Strawn, who will play collegiately at Clemson in the fall. Strawn did not lose a match all season.

“I’m proud of all the guys,” Strawn said. “We took it all the way and it came down to the end. It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had in a tennis match.”

The FPD Athletic Department sincerely thanks the class of 2013 for their efforts and dedication over the years. The other three seniors are Max Chandler, Dylan Liles and Alec Martin.

The First Presbyterian Day School Department of Athletics, home to multiple region and state championships in both the GISA and GHSA, strives to build the student athlete both in the playing arena and the classroom while continuing to educate and equip students to change the world for God’s glory. Now a member of the GHSA, the Vikings have continued to provide FPD athletes, coaches, fans and spectators a positive, Christian environment on a daily basis. For more information, visit www.fpdvikings.com and sign up for up-to-the-minute news and scores by visiting www.twitter.com/FPDVikingSports.

BOX SCORE:

Saturday, May 11, 2013

GHSA Class A Private Boys Tennis State Championship (Clayton County International Park)

The Walker School 3, FPD 1

Singles

Daniel Strawn vs. Derrick Brown DNF.

Alan Norsworthy def. Michael Durham 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Miller Durham def. Rob Wash 6-0, 6-0.

Doubles

Will Chocallo/Daniel Ssworsky def. Max Chandler/Dylan Liles 6-2, 6-3.

Austin Newsome/Sloan Coolbrath def. Brooks Hanson/Tristan Hilyer 6-2, 6-0.