Putting on a tennis tournament with 80 teams is no small undertaking, and LaGrange High coach Kenny Moore is grateful to have some tremendous help.
The Granger Invitational, which is being held at tennis courts in five counties and two states, got under way on Friday, and it will wrap up today.
Moore, who has been putting on the tournament for 23 years now, said “it is just amazing” the help he has recieved.
At McCluskey Tennis Center, where everyone of the courts was in use from early in the morning until late at night, Carla Hale, Mike Pauley and Jim Rogers, among others, were on hand to keep things running smoothly.
The situation is the same at the other locations, with coaches and volunteers helping to keep everything on track.
“These are people that help us with this, and it is just unbelievable what they do,” Moore said Friday evening as the day’s final matches were being contested. “Our parents, good gracious, they’re not only supportive parents, but they’re workers. They not only support their kids, but they learn how to run a tournament, and help us do this.”
This matches the largest field in the history of the tournament, and tennis courts at McCluskey Tennis Center, Callaway High, Troup High, LaGrange College, Callaway Gardens, the Roosevelt tennis center in Warm Springs, Harris County High, Heard County High, and the Valley (Ala.) Sportsplex are being used.
Teams are divided into three divisions, and the championship matches will be today.
In Division I and Division II, the championship matches will be at 3 p.m.
The Division I championship matches will be at McCluskey Tennis Center, and the Division II title matches will be at LaGrange College.
The Division III finals will be at 10 a.m. at McCluskey Tennis Center.
Moore was hopeful his LaGrange teams would make it through to the finals in Division II, but that isn’t going to happen.
Both LaGrange teams split their two matches on Friday.
The LaGrange boys’ team lost its first match against Dalton before bouncing back to beat Lumpkin County.
The Grangers will play their final match at 11 a.m. today at the Roosevelt center.
The LaGrange girls’ team, meanwhile, beat Union Grove before falling to Newnan.
The Lady Grangers will play their final match at 11:45 a.m. today at McCluskey Tennis Center.
“I thought we had a chance (to make the finals), but we learned something about ourselves,” Moore said. “We’re still trying to see what our best lineup is. We’re going to get better. They see what have to do to beat teams like this.”
Callaway’s boys’ and girls’ teams are also participating in the tournament.
Both Callaway teams lost their first matches, and they played again late on Friday.
Callaway’s teams will play their third and final matches this morning.
OF NOTE: For a complete tournament roundup, see Monday’s sports section.