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JCHS Boys Tennis loses close one to EHS

By Matt Hill

It’s been a long time since the JCHS Boys tennis team was in a position to defeat Elizabethton, but the Longhorns had a great chance last Tuesday to knock off the Cyclones.
Though round one ended up going to the Cyclones, the Longhorns sent a message that they are going to be a force to be reckoned with.
A couple of misfortunes played a big role in the Longhorns’ 5-4 loss to the Cyclones at the Elizabethton Tennis Complex as JCHS played shorthanded.
Timmy Bellamy was unable to make the trip and Jackson Johnson was unable to play doubles, forcing the Longhorns to have to win extra singles matches.

Brothers Wade and Carlton Tugman took care of business at No. 1 and No. 2 with Wade winning easily 8-1 over Elijah Singleton and Carlton winning 8-6 over Andy Bowers.
The key matches were at No. 3 and No. 4, where Jackson Johnson and Stephen Joiner played.

Johnson played down to the wire with Ward Tanner of Elizabethton, but some key unforced errors and serving troubles doomed Johnson in an 8-6 loss.

Joiner rallied from a 4-0 deficit, but had his serve broken at the end of the match to lose 9-7 to Michael Hutchins.
“It’s a little disappointing, but I think we can beat them,” JCHS Tennis Coach Steve Nave said. “Jackson and Steven’s matches were real close and Logan Dunn’s was real close. I think they’ll all win at home when they come up to our place.”

The Longhorns received a surprise performance at No. 6 singles when Logan Dunn lost a close 8-5 match to Ryan Pinkerman. At No. 5, freshman Ryan Whitener gave a good effort in an 8-3 loss to Matt Fair.
Nave was pleased with his middle seeds though the matches didn’t go the Longhorns’ way.

“Steven got down 4-0 and he played great after that,” Nave said. “Jackson was having trouble with his serves and the guy he played hit really good shots. It’s disappointing but you can’t fault them. Matches are won at three, four and five. I think they’re going to be better.

Dunn came in and nearly won after not being ranked in the top six.

“Logan played well and he’s a really good kid,” Nave said. “Timmy Bellamy, our No. 6, was out of town and Logan stepped in and did well. I was proud of him.

After the match was decided, the Longhorns picked up two doubles wins with Wade Tugman and Whitener teaming up for a 8-5 win over Elijah Singleton and Matt Fair while Carlton Tugman and Joiner won 8-6 against Michael Hutchins and Drew Holsclaw.

“This is definitely the deepest team I’ve had,” Nave said. “First match I hated to have to play against Elizabethton. I wanted to get the rust off and we haven’t had too many practices because of the weather, but I think we’re going to be pretty good by the end of the year.”
For complete details please pick up your copy of this weeks, The Tomahawk, available at local newsstands today!