Jefferson's Ethan Duke returns a shot last week during region tournament tennis action. The Dragons will play in the Class AAAA Sweet 16 on Wednesday (April 21) after defeating Hampton 4-1 in the first round of the state tournament on Thursday (April 15). 

Relegated to a No. 4 seed, Jefferson boys’ tennis team made sure that positioning didn’t spell the end of its season.

The Dragons’ postseason run will continue on into the Sweet 16 against Region 7-AAAA No. 2 seed Northwest Whitfield Wednesday (April 21, 2 p.m.) after knocking off top-seeded Hampton, 4-1, Thursday (April 15) in the Class AAAA tournament.

The second-round match will be held at Lakeshore Park in Dalton.

“We expect to see a solid team, who has improved over the course of the year,” Jefferson coach Dawson Bryan said of Northwest Whitfield. “Speaking with some of the coaches in the region up there, they have some guys who hit consistently, so we are hoping to play a very clean match and not give them any easy points.”

In the first-round win over Hampton, Luke Forrester won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, Aaron Eason won 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 at No. 2 singles, Grant Morrow and Roman Smith won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 doubles and Spencer Darby and Ethan Duke own 6-4, 6-0 at No. 2 doubles.

Chase Tyner lost a tightly-contested match at No. 3 singles in a tiebreaker.

“We could have won 5-0 and, honestly, Chase showed a lot of composure and maturity in such a testy situation,” Bryan said. “We played well once we settled in, but we have to start strong this next round to keep from getting into a situation in which we have to scrap and fight.”


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