n It’s the 14th in 37 seasons for Warriors’ coach Lynn Wood.
BY BRANDON SPECK
RIDGELAND – Corinth tennis coach Lynn Wood isn’t exactly sure what his overall coaching record is, but he knows the bottom line.
He knows that Monday’s MHSAA Class 3A team state championship, a 7-0 sweep of Newton County, was the fourth in a row for the Warriors and Wood’s 14th in 37 years at the helm of the Alcorn County school.
“Everybody asks me, ‘Is this one as good as the first one?’ Yes. It’s just as exciting for them, for me, as it was for No. 1,” said Wood.
Five of this year’s team champion were new players in state competition. Seven returned from last year’s win.
Two seniors will leave Wood: Christina Coleman, girls singles, and Christina Puckett, girls doubles.
Coleman defeated Shannon St. Clair 6-0, 6-1. Puckett and Abby Lambert defeated Cassie Thunn and Claire Tadlock 6-1, 4-6 (12-1) in No. 1 girls doubles. In No. 2 girls doubles, Kayla Keefe and Catherine Coleman defeated Emily Lucy and Lauren Luck 6-4, 7-5.
On the boys’ side, Brian McDaniel defeated Brandon St. Clair 6-0, 6-1 in singles. Austin McElwain and Charlie Curtis defeated Blake Cochran and Bryden Reed 6-0, 6-1 in No. 1 doubles, and in No. 2 doubles, Brandon Gardner and Ben Nhek came back to beat Richie Ferguson and David Brand 5-7, 6-0 (10-2).
Jospeh Hurt and Mike Winters won 6-0, 6-4 against Aaron Scroggins and Kelsey Tadlock in mixed doubles.
Wood said no matter how many trophies Corinth (20-1) carries back to the northern corner of the state, his mantra is always the same.
“I don’t want them to feel any pressure,” he said. “We try to keep everything low key. We don’t talk about winning a state championship. We don’t go out mouthing. When we need to do the job, we try to get the job done.”
The Division 1-3A champions scheduled only three non-division games inside 3A. The rest included wins against 5A Tupelo, New Albany, Pontotoc and Clinton. With some players missing with track and ACT testing, Corinth’s only loss came against Oxford.
“It feels good, a lot of work put into it,” said Coleman, in her sixth season. “Coach Wood is a great coach. Hopefully they can do it again next year and get six.”