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FPD, Stratford tennis teams win state championships

The FPD girls tennis team claimed their first state title. Stratford boys won their 11th championship since 2008

ROME, Ga. — Two Central Georgia tennis teams won state championships Saturday at the Georgia High School Association state finals in Rome. First Presbyterian Day School girls tennis won their first GHSA state championship. Stratford Academy boys tennis won their 11th championship since 2008.

FPD beat Mt. Paran Christian, 3-2. Doubles tag team of McKenzie Gleaton and Savannah Terrell won their match 6-0, 6-0. Fellow doubles team Kiya Israel and Abby Gayle Moody also swept. Sophomore Natalie Griffin rounded it out with a 2-1 singles win to clinch the victory.

The route to state was tough, FPD had to beat the defending state champs and state runners up to even make the finals, but all the glory belongs to the red and black now.

"These girls have been with me for some quite some time and we've had some great runs," said Derek Lashley, head tennis coach. "Back to the final four two years ago. We thought we'd be the team to beat last year, but COVID hit. We stuck it out and worked hard this year and these girls had an amazing, amazing tournament."

FPD finished the year a perfect 18-0.

Not to be outdone, Stratford Tennis will also bring home some hardware. The boys team beat Wesleyan, 3-1 to claim the championship.

All three wins were on the singles side. Seniors Thomas Brewer and Will Fackler led the way and freshman Cam Douthit finished it off in straight sets.

Stratford claimed their 11th title since 2008 and their fifth since joining the GHSA in 2015. Head Coach Jaime Kaplan said they felt like they should have one more on their resume.

"These guys right here, COVID got us last year. We feel like we would have won last year, but we're proud of these guys. We won it for the team this year, but we won it for the team last year since we didn't get a chance to play for state," Kaplan said.

The finals were played at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College.