RHS boys primed for title run
Mike Self, Franklin County Times
After winning the Class 5A, Section 6 championship with a sophomore-laden lineup last season, the Russellville boys tennis team has set its sights on bringing home a state title in 2007.
"We're going to make a run at it," said RHS coach Jimmy Rea, whose young team placed fifth at last year's state tournament. "I expect all nine courts [six singles and three doubles] will make it to Mobile as No. 1. We're so much stronger and more experienced than we were last year. Our boys are a year older, and that makes a big difference."
T.J. Drake, the defending sectional champion at No. 1 singles, leads a strong group of juniors that also includes Jacob Hill, John Tyler Hardin and Anthony Turner.
Sophomore Tyler Malone and freshman Kiefer Rea also return after strong performances last season. All six singles players advanced to the sectional finals a year ago, as did all three doubles teams.
Malone and Turner won the section title at No. 3 doubles.
The Golden Tigers will play their first varsity match of the season on Monday at Florence. They will host Brooks on Tuesday.
Russellville's girls tennis team is also looking to build off a successful season last year.
Sectional champions Grace Hagedorn and Calli Davis lead a strong group of returners that also includes Oliva Turner and Lauren Sorrells.
Millie Fisher, Laura Fennel and Kimberly Fennel will also play key roles on the varsity this season.
Russellville's Section 6 competition this year will be Decatur, Lee-Huntsville, Athens and Muscle Shoals.