Successful season for LaGrange tennis team
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
A season that was promising to be a memorable one for the LaGrange High tennis team was cut short.
Following a victory over Sandy Creek on March 10, the LaGrange boys’ and girls’ teams had one loss between them, and they were looking forward to making the most of the remainder of the season.
Unfortunately for LaGrange, what would have happened the rest of the way will forever be a question mark.
That match against Sandy Creek turned out to be the final one of a season that was cut
short because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Although the season was an abbreviated one, there were still plenty of highlights for a program that has thrived under the leadership of head coach Kenny Moore.
LaGrange’s girls’ team finished unbeaten with a 9-0 record, and it won the Jekyll Jam tournament early in March.
LaGrange’s boys’ team, meanwhile, went 8-1 overall, and its lone loss came in the championship game of the Jekyll Jam.
“Everybody was working, and it was a fun group, a fun year,” Moore said. “We had some success, and they’re all just heart-broken that we had to stop.”
While most of the players will get an opportunity to return next season, it’s the end of the road for four seniors.
The lone senior on the girls’ side is Jina Shin, who was a member of the number one doubles team along with Ella Eiland.
The seniors on the boys’ team are Young Cho, Albert Kim and Jinsong Jun.
“The girls, we just lose one senior, Jina Shin, and we’ve got the core of the team back,” Moore said. “With the boys, we lose those three who have been with me for five years really since the eighth grade. To see them come along has been fun. I grew really close to that group, so I’m going to miss them like crazy.”
A shining moment of the season came during the Jekyll Island tournament the first weekend of March.
LaGrange’s girls’ team went 3-0 in the tournament, and it beat River Ridge 4-1 in the championship match.
LaGrange opened with a 5-0 victory over Jackson County before securing a hard-earned 3-2 win over Glynn Academy in the second round.
Wone Mi Oh, Sydney Edelson and Annie Pauley got the job done in singles, and the teams of Ella Eiland and Jina Shin, and Adeline Lanier and Maddie Nolen excelled in doubles.
LaGrange’s boys’ team beat River Ridge and North Hall before falling to Jackson County 3-2 in the title match.
Pierce Manning, Jinseong Jun and Albert Kim played singles for LaGrange, and the teams of Baker Skinner and Yongjin Shin, and Youngha Cho and Greg Terry got it done in doubles.
Moore believes the girls’ and boys’ teams could have won region titles and made deep runs in the state tournament, but whether that would have happened will remain a mystery.
Both teams should be poised for strong 2021 seasons, and they’ll get things started in February.