New Albany wins second straight tennis title

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – This year’s state championship was a lot sweeter for New Albany High School tennis twins Christopher and Christian Scott.
The brothers, sporting their trademark mohawk haircuts, defeated St. Stanislaus’ Mitchell Walk and James Luffey 6-3, 6-4 Tuesday to clinch the Bulldogs’ 5-2 victory in the MHSAA Tennis Championships at Bridges Tennis Center.
“It’s the best feeling,” Christian Scott said. “We lost our court last year and didn’t contribute to the win. Today, we were the court that won it for our team.”
Christopher Scott was just excited to be playing. He missed most of the postseason recovering from a back injury.
“I’m 80 percent, but that’s all we needed,” he said. “It feels really good to win as a team. We all came together and played well.”
New Albany, coached by Warner Creekmore, has now won two consecutive state titles and three of the last four in Class 4A.
“I knew we’d probably win four courts, but I’m excited we won five,” she said. “You never know.
“I’ve got good kids. The have a good work ethic and they do well in academics.
“I couldn’t ask for a better group.”
Seventh grader Morris Kelly Clayton won girls singles for the Bulldogs. Marcus Crotts and Parker Nail (boys doubles), Meghan Van and Katie Davis (girls doubles), and Olivia Dunnam and Hannah Anderson (girls doubles), all won their courts.
Mooreville returned to the Class 3A team championships for a second straight season only to lose to 11-time state winner St. Andrew’s.
The Saints swept Tuesday’s 7-0 match at Ridgeland Tennis Center.
“I’m proud of my players. They made Mooreville proud,” Troopers coach Kristy Rowland said. “We’re a growing program. We have plans to keep it growing.”
Zach Shumpert and Jay West, who lost their boys doubles match, admitted it wasn’t their best day.
“We didn’t play really great,” said Shumpert, a senior. “We worked really hard to get here. I’ve enjoyed it.”
Another senior, Dylan Lewis, is proud of what his team accomplished.
“We’ve helped build this program,” he said. It’s sad to know it’s over.”
The Chargers defeated Stone County 6-1 to win their sixth consecutive Class 5A state championship.
Hattiesburg Sacred Heart (1A), Madison St, Joe (2A) and Ocean Springs (6A) won the other team championships.

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