“That was just Trevor’s way of telling his teammates, ‘Come on, guys. Let’s do it,’” said Melissa Moore, the second-year boys and girls tennis coach.
Gotkowski won his No. 1 singles match, 6-0, 6-1. But when Drew Adsit dropped his tennis racquet at the foot of the net after defeating his opponent, 6-4, 4-6 and 6-2, the Canes’ boys’ team had indeed done it. As did the Lady Canes, who accomplished the same feat minutes later. Both tennis teams had won their respective finals match to win the 5-AAA region championship.
“What they accomplished today is unbelievable,” said Moore, who, after being doused with ice water, hoped that nothing had happened to her cellphone when she tried calling her husband to tell him the good news. “Both teams were determined to win it all. For the boys, it was a hard fought win against a tough North Murray team. The girls were not about to take Sonoraville for granted, whatsoever.”
Final scores: Canes 3-1 over the Mountaineers. Lady Canes 3-0 over the Phoenix.
“It was a battle every time our boys played North Murray this season,” Moore said. “The final scores may have been 5-0 Cartersville each team, but the matches usually ended 3-2.”
The boys clinched the region championship by virtue of Nathan Slocum’s 6-0, 6-4 victory. The Lady Canes were declared champions after Mallory Walker, Maddie McGinnis and the doubles team of Annabeth and Charleston Fox each won their respective matches. Lady Canes’ No. 1 singles player Darian DeFrench was leading, 6-1, 5-0, when the girls’ region champion was determined.
“Being a senior, I very much wanted to end my tennis career at Cartersville forever remembering that both teams were region champions,” Gotkowski said.
The Lady Canes cruised into the finals with wins over Ringgold Monday and Coahulla Creek Tuesday morning. Cartersville’s boys advanced with a victory over Gordon Central Monday and Sonoraville Tuesday morning.
Any hopes of a girls’ Cartersville-Adairsville final quickly evaporated when the Lady Tigers lost their semifinal match to Sonoraville Tuesday morning. Two hours later, the Lady Tigers wound up in fourth place following their loss to Coahulla Creek.
“It turned out to be a rough day,” Lady Tigers’ coach Brett Tolbert said. “We had our chances to win, but we lost the tiebreaker in two separate matches. I feel bad for our girls who played their hearts out. They should be proud though of how far hey have come in three, short years. When I took over this program three years ago, the girls’ tennis team had not won a match in 10 years. Not one match. This season, we’ve won 13. Cartersville handed us are only two region losses.”
Although it was a rough day at Dellinger Park Tuesday, Adairsville’s girls still qualified for the Class AAA state playoffs. The top four boys and girls tennis teams qualified for state.
The top four seeds from Region 5-AAA for the girls are Cartersville, Sonoraville, Coahulla Creek and the Lady Tigers. For the boys, it is Cartersville, North Murray, Sonoraville and Coahulla Creek.
“We’ll enjoy a day off today and then start preparing for the state playoffs,” Moore said.
As will the Lady Tigers.
“Our team is comprised of mostly freshmen and sophomores, so a day off today will give them a chance to clear their minds,” Tolbert said.