JONESBORO, Ga. -- The Marion County boys entered the state tennis tournament with a lot of confidence. They showed Saturday morning that the good feeling was not misguided, as the Eagles won the school's first state tennis championship.
Marion County made easy work of Irwin County, not even losing a point in all three singles matches. The 3-1 score reflected the team's dominance in the Class A Public final at the Clayton County International Park Tennis Center.
"We had high hopes," said coach Jill Peacock, whose team finished 19-1. "We knew we had three boys coming up and we knew how much they had been together and played together."
She was referring to sophomores Gray Wells at No. 1 singles and Daniel Peacock at No. 2 singles and freshman Bense Medders at No. 3 singles. The skill and ability of that trio was enough to boost the hopes and the success of the team.
"It feels great. We've been playing since we were little kids," Wells said. "We've played together, stayed together played a lot of tennis together. This is pretty special."
Now they've won together.
Wells beat Irwin County's Tyler Writ 6-0, 6-0. Peacock beat Jordan Leverett 6-0, 6-0. Bense beat Trey spell 6-0-0.
"It was real exciting to know that Bense was going to be able to play with us this year," Jill Peacock said. "We had two very good singles players and we need one more to make a difference."The doubles team of A.J. Wells and Kendrick Baker did not finish its match. Marion didn't even bring a No. 2 doubles team, which is why Irwin was able to put a point on the board.
"We've worked hard on doubles and turned that into a very capable team. We're proud of them, too."
None of this was a surprise to the husband-wife coaching team of Jill and Jud Peacock.
"These are very hard-working kids that love tennis," said Jud Peacock. "They've been together since middle school and they're all homegrown Marion County kids."
Marion County played a tough non-league schedule (including Class AAAA champion Columbus) and was not tested in the playoffs. In the state playoffs the Eagles beat Mitchell County 5-0, Johnson County 3-0 and Baconton 3-0 to reach the final.
This was the first year in which public and private schools were split apart once the postseason began for Class A schools.