The Wildcats won individual region championships in six of the seven events with all of their players earning berths to the 4A Individual State Tournament on May 1 at the Ridgeland Tennis Center. Cleveland has had a great year as the team has won the Region 3-4A team title and will be a No. 1 seed in the 4A State Team Playoffs.
“They’ve been working hard, and it has paid off for them,” Cleveland High head tennis coach Memorie Naron said about her squad. “They’ve been improving daily.”
In boys singles action, Cleveland’s Cole Thomas hardly broke a sweat against Gentry’s Whittfield as he won in straight sets 6-0, 6-0 to win the region. Thomas will be looking to continue his momentum at state.
In mixed doubles action, Cleveland’s Kody Causey and Emma Hardy and Greenwood’s Symone Crawford and Jameriz Hemphill competed in a great match with Causey and Hardy bringing home the region title with a thrilling 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 win. Causey and Hardy will have a chance to do big things at state.
Both of Cleveland’s girls doubles teams were successful in their quest for region gold. Lorna Leigh Rogers and Merrill Dean Rogers were on top of their game in No. 1 girls doubles action by defeating Greenwood’s Patrice Otero and Kenisha Sanders 6-0, 6-0, while Ashley Braden Horton and Shelby Swafford cruised past Greenwood’s Lakia Smith and Erin Ervy 6-1, 6-0 in No. 2 girls doubles action. Both of Cleveland’s girls doubles teams will be looking for big things at state.
In No. 1 boys doubles action, Cleveland’s Daniel Woo and Will Virden took on Greenwood’s Jordan Freeman and Kenneth Earl Million in a match that pushed Woo and Virden to the limit. Woo and Virden prevailed and brought home the region title for Cleveland by winning 7-6 (7-4), 6-1. Woo and Virden will look to continue their magic at state.
In No. 2 boys doubles action, Cleveland’s Chase Fuller and Coleman Warrington were dominant in their only match of the day as they defeated Gentry’s Marquerus Thomas and Josiah Lee 6-0, 6-0. Fuller and Warrington are also headed for state.
In girls singles action, Cleveland’s Katherine Swafford had to play two matches on the day. Swafford defeated Gentry’s Ariel Hutchensen 6-0, 6-4 in the first match but lost to Greenwood’s Tierney Holmes in the championship match 6-0, 6-0. Swafford will still have another chance to shine at state.
Cleveland will return to the tennis court on Tuesday when the Wildcats play Houston (No. 2 seed, Region 4) at 3:30 p.m. at Bear Pen Park in the first round of the team playoffs.