Callaway wins on senior day
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The Callaway High tennis teams, with an unexpected break on the way, took care of business.
After Callaway’s boys’ and girls’ teams won their Region 5-AA matches, word came down that all athletic activities at Troup County schools were going to be suspended beginning on Friday.
For at least two weeks, all of the county’s sports teams won’t be able to play games or hold practices.
When and if the season does continue, the Callaway teams will look to build on the strong performances against Temple, with both teams winning by the same 5-0 score.
Callaway’s boys’ team, coming off the most successful season in the history of the program, has been playing well this season, posting a 6-2 record.
After losing its first region match of the season on Tuesday against Bremen, Callaway bounced back in a big way against Temple.
“We just came out and didn’t look good on Tuesday,” said Callaway coach Jacob Brannon. “We hadn’t been playing much, and then we played a match on Monday and won that one. I don’t if we had tired legs (against Bremen), but we fixed it today.”
Brannon is hopeful that an already strong team will become even better with the return of number one singles player Alex Cho, who had a phenomenal 2019 season.
Cho hasn’t played yet this season because of an injury, and senior Austin Ozley has filled in well for him at the number one singles spot.
“We can win the region without (Cho),” Brannon said. “If we can get him back, it’s whatever we want to do.”
The Cavaliers have continued to play well without Cho thanks in part to the presence of some talented seniors who have helped elevate the program.
That group includes Jared Nation, who has been a key doubles player the past few seasons and is currently teaming up with fellow senior Jayvon Nunley at number one doubles.
Ozley, meanwhile, has been a critical piece of the puzzle this season after moving up to number one singles.
“(Ozley) has played number one pretty much every match, and he’s had a great season,” Brannon said. “You’ve got Jared and Nunley, and both of them have won a lot over the past two years for me.”
Nation has seen the program come a long way since his freshman season.
Everything came together last season, with Callaway making it to the third round of the Class AA state tournament before losing to Thomasville.
“It’s been great,” said Nation, who has also enjoyed plenty of success as a member of the Callaway football team. “We were not very good my freshman year, but we’ve come a long way.”
Nation is appreciative of the way some of the former Callaway players helped pave the way for the current success.
“The seniors before me, they helped show us how to play,” Nation said.
During Thursday’s match, Ozley won at number one singles, Sir-Michael Johnson prevailed at number two singles, and Matthew Martin won the number three singles match.
Nation and Nunley won at number one doubles, and Anderous Lonakapu and Charlie Lin won the number two doubles math.
Callaway’s girls’ team has also had plenty of success in recent years, and that includes a victory in the state tournament in 2018.
One of the players who has helped the program enjoy so much success is senior Callie Shelton, and she won her match at number one singles on Thursday.
Kelly Lin holds down the number two singles spot for Callaway, and Kate Phillips is the number three singles player.
The number one doubles team is Sammanthia Webster and Nancy Rosenthal, and Charity Musick and Yu Jung Jang make up the number two doubles team.
OF NOTE: Before the matches the team’s six seniors were recognized. The seniors are Tityasha Sapp, Callie Shelton, Charity Musick, Jayvon Nunley, Austin Ozley and Jared Nation.