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RHS boys tennis claims fourth straight section title

By Staff
Scot Beard
In recent years, the Russellville varsity boys tennis team has found quite a bit of success on the courts.
Since the current seniors were in the seventh grade, the program has put together and impressive 69-15 record. Earlier this week, the Golden Tigers earned their fourth consecutive sectional title.
Senior Tyler Malone, who has played for Russellville for six seasons, says there is still work to be done.
"(The feeling is) not that good," Malone said. "Section is all right, but we want to win state."
The Golden Tigers won five matches in the section tournament finals including Kiefer Rea's No.-3 singles straight sets win, Malone's No.-4 singles win and John-Michael Mayfield's win in No.-6 singles.
The other two wins were in doubles with the team of Carson Hutchins and Bret Malone winning No.-1 doubles and Rea and Tyler Malone winning No.-2 doubles.
During the tournament, Russellville amassed 50 points to capture the title. Muscle Shoals, which finished second, earned 29 points.
The Golden Tigers will try to earn a state title Monday and Tuesday at the Mobile Tennis Center.
The other members of the team making the trip to Mobile are senior twins John and Nathan McAllister, who play singles and No.-3 doubles.
John had played tennis for a while, but took his junior year off. He said he missed playing so he came back for his senior year.
Nathan, who also played football and basketball for Russellville, said his competitive spirit led him to take up tennis after watching John play.
The Golden Tigers lost some good players from last year's team, but that doesn't worry Rea, who has taken up the leadership role on the team.
"This year we might not have as much talent," Rea said. "But talent doesn't always win championships if things come together."
Tigers are section champs once more
The Red Bay varsity boys tennis team used a strong performance on the second day of its sectional tournament to clinch its fourth consecutive section title.
The Tigers, who had already secured at least a spot in the state tournament, won four of the six finals matches they competed in to edge Mars Hill 43-40 for the section crown.
In singles action, Toby Gray defeated Lexington's Heath Thompson 6-3, 6-1 in No.-1 singles while Chris Funderburk beat Mars Hill's Tirey Cole 6-7, 6-2, 6-4 in No.-2 singles.
Also winning a singles match for Red Bay was Roman Lynch, who knocked off Lauderdale County's Will Wright 6-1, 7-6 in the No.-6 singles finals.
The No.-1 doubles team of Kirk Armstrong and Gray beat Lexington 6-2, 6-3.
Taking losses for the Tigers were Armstrong, who lost to Mars Hill's Brock Tiffin 6-4, 6-0 in No.-4 singles and John Thigpen, who lost to Mars Hill's Russell Durdunji 6-3, 6-2 in No.-3 singles.
Red Bay will in the state tournament Monday and Tuesday at the Point Mallard State Park Courts in Decatur.

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