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Hartselle boys tennis takes 7th at state; also wins sportsmanship award

By Staff
Staff Reports, Hartselle Enquirer
The Hartselle boys tennis team finished in seventh place overall out of 13 teams at the state Class 5A tennis championship in Mobile May 1. The Tigers fell just short of a doubles title when the duo of Anthony Penick and Alex Brown fell to UMS-Wright's Collin Perry and Ford Wyatt in the No. 1 doubles final.
Penick/Brown advanced to the No. 1 doubles championship with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Muscle Shoals' Aaron Lockhard and Karlin Sheffey. The duo moved on to face the UMS-Wright pair, who advanced when Walker's No. 1 doubles team was disqualified following an on-court altercation in their semifinal match.
Although Hartselle didn't win any individual hardware, the Tigers did take the sportsmanship trophy home.
In games played April 30, No. 5 singles John Landers won two matches before falling to Russellville's Jacob Hill in a Tuesday match. Landers defeated Pleasant Grove's Matt Smith 6-1, 6-1 and knocked off Briarwood's Phillip Taylor 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
None of Hartselle's other six qualifiers advanced past Monday. At No. 1, Penick fell in the first round to St. Paul's 3-6, 2-6. No. 1 Candice Light, who qualified for the girls division, defeated Sylacauga 6-1, 6-2 in the first round before falling to Walker 1-6, 1-6.
In the boys division, No. 2 Brown drew a bye in the first round before falling to UMS-Wright 6-0, 6-0. At No. 3, Scott Dukes fell in the first round to Muscle Shoals 1-6, 1-6. No. 4 Jeremy Roper drew a bye before falling to St. Paul's 0-6, 3-6 and No. 6 Chris Connor also had a first-round bye before falling in the second round to Walker 1-6, 3-6.
In doubles, Hartselle's No. 2 team of Roper/Conner dropped a 4-6, 6-7 match to Pleasant Grove in the second round after receiving a bye in the opening round. The No. 3 team of Landers/A.J. McNutt fell in its opening match to St. Paul's 0-6, 4-6.
Although Penick failed to earn a trophy after falling in the No. 1 doubles final with his partner Brown, he did receive an honor while down in Mobile as he signed a scholarship with Faulkner State University.

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