Tennis aces easily head to state tourney
By ROD GIPSON
PEBBLE CREEK -- The Wharton boys tennis team took little time in defeating Bradenton Manatee April 19 in their Class 4A, Region 3 meeting. In fact, the Wildcats took less than an hour to beat Manatee 4-0 and advance to the state tournament.
Wharton got wins in straight sets from its top four singles players, highlighted by wins from Greg Fischer and Frankie Castillo, who each had 6-1, 6-1 victories.
The Gaither girls, meanwhile, did not fare as well.
Advancing to the Class 4A, Region 3 match, the Cowboys suffered a 5-2 loss against Sarasota to see their season come to an end.
SOFTBALL: Chamberlain showed opposite personalities at the Western Conference softball tournament April 19-20. The Chiefs (21-6) opened the tournament with a 10-0 trouncing of Plant to advance to the title game.
But the Chiefs uncharacteristically slipped in the finals -- to a team it has practically owned. After taking a 1-0 lead against Tampa Bay Tech, the Chiefs watched as the Titans stormed back to take a 5-1 victory and the tournament title. The win marked the first time Tampa Bay Tech has ever defeated Chamberlain in softball in the two schools' histories.
BASEBALL: Gaither gave up a late lead and saw its chances of playing for a Western Conference tournament crown slip away April 17. Gaither (15-9) held a 2-1 lead against Durant in the sixth inning of their semifinal contest before a grand slam home run suddenly shifted momentum to the Cougars, who went on for a 6-3 win.
AWARDS: Four area football players received honors April 20 for their work on and off the field. Chamberlain's Eddie Lee Ivery and Jared Baxley, Leto's Gilbert Perez and Sickles' Ryan Roeling were among the 18 student athletes honored at the 34th Annual Scholar-Athlete Award Banquet. Baxley is headed to the Air Force Academy while Ivery has signed with Georgia Tech. Roeling will attend the Naval Academy while Perez will play for Air Force. Perez, a standout offensive and defensive lineman for the Falcons also received the National Football Foundation Scholarship.
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