By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
New Albany High School tennis coach Warner Creekmore turned in her team’s lineup to the MHSAA Monday for this week’s Class 4A state championship match against St. Stanislaus.
That lineup, for the first time during the postseason, listed senior twin brothers Christopher Scott and Christian Scott in boys doubles.
Christopher Scott has been sidelined with a pinched nerve in his lower back. He has been replaced by another Christopher – freshman Christopher Shands – in the playoffs.
“Christopher (Scott) committed to me this morning,” Creekmore said Monday. “He said, ‘I’m playing.’ I’m hoping he’s 100 percent. I’m glad he’s going to play.”
Creekmore calls the brothers the team’s “Dynamic Duo.”
New Albany, which defeated rival Pontotoc last week for the North Mississippi title, heads into Wednesday’s 2 p.m. match at Bridges Tennis Center in Jackson as defending state champs. The Bulldogs also won in 2010.
St. Stanislaus beat Newton County to capture the South championship. Newton County lost to New Albany in last year’s title match.
In Class 5A, Oxford plays Stone County in a rematch of last season’s title match at Ridgeland Tennis Center. The Chargers have won five straight state championships.
In Class 3A, Mooreville returns to the state championship match for the second consecutive season. The Troopers, who knocked off Alcorn Central to win the North state title, play five-time state champion St. Andrew’s in Ridgeland.
Dylan Lewis, in boys singles, and the girls doubles team of Myriam Sanders and Danielle Tunnell had key wins for Mooreville against Alcorn Central.
The Troopers lost 6-1 last season in the title match to St. Andrew’s. “I think we’re a better team this year,” Mooreville No. 1 doubles player Robert Jones said.
Play for state championships on individual courts is scheduled to begin Thursday at both sites. The semifinals and finals are scheduled for Friday.
Shannon’s Jordan Roberts returns for a third season in 4A girls singles. She won state in 2011 and lost in the finals last season.
Creekmore knows very little about her opponent from Pass Christian.
“The key is getting the right lineups,” she said. “You need to win the courts you’re favored in and pick up another one.”
Two seniors – Mark Robbins, singles and Olivia Dunnam, doubles – played on the Bulldogs’ 2010 state championship team.
“I feel good about our chances,” Creekmore said. “You’re always nervous. It’s a matter of having your players ready. Everybody has to be on their game.”