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Tennis teams begin region play with eight wins
Zach Friday hits a forehand behind the baseline against his East Forsyth opponent. Friday’s consistency has helped his success this season. - photo by Rio White

The Dawson County High School tennis teams began their Region 7-AAA slate by hosting a meet against East Forsyth on Tuesday, March 1, winning eight of 10 matches.

Some changes were made on both Tigers teams from the previous home match. On the girls side, Wendy Castro joined one of the doubles teams, while Lane Perry joined the singles lineup for the boys team. 

Starting out the day on the girls singles side were Kayleigh Moon and Marlee Gaddis, who both showed consistency to defeat their opponents. Moon did not drop a single game in her 6-0, 6-0 victory while Gaddis used a strong return game to break her opponent’s serve in a 6-1, 6-1 win. 

“I have seen all of the girls grow in their consistency and confidence,” girls team head coach Laura Ledbetter said. “Their shot tolerance is getting higher each week [and] points are becoming longer.”

Blake Smith finished up the girls singles slate with a 6-2, 6-0 win. Her strong serve and confident forehands helped her have a strong second set.

Blake Smith hits a serve to her East Forsyth opponent. The senior’s confidence helped drive her to victory on Tuesday. - photo by Rio White

On the boys side, the first singles matchup resulted in their only loss of the day. Chase Cofield had early-set success before eventually falling behind in a 3-6, 3-6 defeat. 

The later two singles matches resulted in victory, with the steady Zach Friday winning 6-0, 6-2 and senior basketball star Perry also powering his way to a 6-0, 6-2 win. 

“It was a very good start to region play. Everyone is starting to get more comfortable with their games,” boys team head coach Logan Allen said. “Chase did not play his best match but he definitely never gave up.”

The doubles matchups saw the Lady Tiger split two matches, with Kenzie Stover and Avery Beaty opening up with a 6-1, 6-1 win. Beaty’s accurate serving and Stover’s strength at the net helped ensure a smooth match.

The only loss of the day on the girls side came from Kelci Folsom and Castro, who fought through a 6-4, 2-6, 2-6 battle. 

After a strong start to the match from the home side, the East Forsyth players steadily improved their groundstrokes and serves to win the match.

For the boys team, the doubles matchups were successful. Grant Ledbetter’s strong serve and all-court presence combined with Connor Woody’s reflexes at the net led to a 6-0, 6-3 win. 

Meanwhile, the big man duo of Ben Swafford and Connor Scroggins won 6-2, 6-2.

The next group of matches will take place on Thursday, March 3, away at Gilmer County.