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State bound: Team advances for first time in school history
DCHS Boys Tennis pic
Dawson County tennis player Dillard Blanton returns a volley at the net during region action last week. - photo by Ryan Coker Dawson Community News

For the first in Dawson County High School's history, the boys' tennis team has made it to the state playoffs in Class AAA.

The team traveled to face No. 1-seed out of Region 8-AAA Oconee County yesterday. Results were not available as of press time.

According to school officials, there were some individuals who made it into the state event in the 1970s, but as a team, this year will mark the first time ever to advance to this point.

The Tigers drew rival Lumpkin County in the first round of region.

The Tigers had already beaten the Indians 3-2 in the regular season.

"I was so hoping we could still get three points on them," said Head Coach Ryan Coker.

No. 1 singles player Dillard Blanton, No. 2 singles Hayden Roper, and No. 3 singles Tristan Ingram all picked up points for the Tigers.

"My guys really showed up and played a great match against Lumpkin. We knew at that point we had qualified for state, but we knew we still had two tough matches coming up," Coker said.

In the semi-finals, Dawson County was matched with No. 1-ranked Banks County.

"I knew going into the tournament Banks County was going to be really tough. Even though we lost the match 3-0, all of our guys played really well and really improved since the last time we played them," Coker said.

The Tigers drew West Hall in the final round to compete for third and fourth place.

The Tigers lost 4-1 to put them in fourth place.

"Even though we lost, all the guys played really well. I was very proud of the way the guys played during the region tournament and they are starting to peak at just the right time," Coker said.

The girls' tennis team also qualified for the state playoff with a second place finish at the Region 7-AAA tournament.