AshwinHaritsa and PatricPelli
News Editor and Editorials Editor
This season has been an extraordinary success for the Chattahoochee tennis teams. By continuing their dominating performances from last year, the teams were able to steadily advance as some of the top high school tennis teams in the state.
Chattahoochee’s boys tennis team absolutely crushed the competition this year. They won many regular season matches, usually with large margins of victory. Boasting four players ranked in the top 20 in the state, the team finished with a terrific 12-1 record, having their only loss to Johns Creek. The Cougars had a strong showing in the region tournament, finishing in third place, which is an impressive accomplishment because the final four for the Georgia state playoffs were all teams from Hooch’s region.
After the region tournament, the boys tennis team started their road to state in the first round of the playoffs. They won easily in the first and second rounds, then proceeded to win in the elite eight, earning them a spot in the final four. Their final four match with Northview was one for the ages, with the competition being settled in the last set. Unfortunately, Chattahoochee did not come out on top, as they were beaten by Northview– the eventual state champions.
Much of the boys team’s success can be credited to their laid back approach to the season. This is shown through some of the players’ pre-match routines. Ken Baynes (SR) said “I have to listen to Panda on repeat before every game. It relaxes me and lets me focus on what I need to do to win.”
Daniel Li (JR) also likes being relaxed before a match. “Before every match I have to watch at least three episodes of Ni Hao Kai Lan. It just calms me down. The more episodes I watch, the better I play,” stated Daniel. When asked about their favorite memories from the season, Ken and Daniel both recalled playing basketball as a team after matches and bonding on the long bus rides. They were like a band of brothers. Nothing could break their bond, which is why they were so amazing on the court.
Additionally, the girls team also destroyed their opponents this year. With a tremendous 12-1 record, the girls were able to secure the #1 seed in this year’s region tournament.
“We had a tough season filled with struggles,” Captain Jordan Bischoff (SR) said, “but the team was able to fight through and overcome the adversity.”
She was extremely excited about the team’s performance and was looking forward to the state playoffs. The team advanced past both Mill Creek and Rockdale High School in the first two rounds which set up a tough match against Etowah High School, the #1 seed in the state tournament from Region 5. This season, Etowah beat Walton High School and snapped their 5-year undefeated streak; the Cougars were up to the challenge in the state quarterfinals. After a tough fight and struggle, the girls eventually lost 3-1 and were eliminated from the road to the State Championship.
“I am happy about the team’s performance and am glad to have made so many memories. I will never forget beating Lambert this year when we were down 0-2 and our backs were against the wall,” said Anne Marie Gourley (SR). Nevertheless, the Hooch Girls Tennis Team had an outstanding season and were able to rank as one of the top eight teams in the entire state.
When asked how he thought the season went, Ken Baynes remarked, “It went well, but it could’ve been much better. I just wish we could’ve gone all the way and won the championship.”
I’m sure that sentiment is shared by all the players, coaches and fans on both the boys and girls teams. Of course they wanted a championship. But both tennis teams had successful seasons and should be very proud of their accomplishments. They were just another example of the great sports tradition at Chattahoochee High School.