Published on 5/16/2012
By Chris Sokoloski
Waccamaw High's tennis team defeated Christ Church 4-3 last weekend to claim the Class AA tennis title.
It's the fifth state title for the boys team, and ninth for coach James Brown, who has also won four with the Waccamaw girls team.
"They're all great," Brown said of the titles. "Our first one in 2007 and this one are the most special."
Against the Cavaliers, Harrison Richmond won 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 singles; Paul Hendrix won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2; Matthew Fisher lost 7-6, 7-2, 6-0 at No. 3; Robert Jones lost 6-4, 4-6, 5-10 at No. 4; and Jaz Green lost 2-6, 3-6 at No. 5.
Waccamaw needed wins from Richmond and Joey Hewes at No. 1 doubles and Hendrix and Alex Czechner at No. 2 doubles to secure the title.
Hewes' doubles match was "pivotal," Brown said, and Czechner played with "unbelievable confidence," serving out the match for the championship.
Richmond finished his Waccamaw career unbeaten.
"I've been around a lot of good athletes in my life," Brown said. "I've never been around one like him. He's the total package."
Waccamaw got to the state finals by defeating Bishop England 4-1 in the Lower State final.
Bishop England started the playoffs as the No. 1 seed, but were stripped of the seeding by the South Carolina High School League after a protest by Waccamaw over some of the lineups the Bishops fielded during the regular season.
As a result, Waccamaw got home court advantage.
Richmond won 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 singles; Hendrix won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2; Fischer won 4-6, 6-2, 10-6 at No. 3; Jones lost 4-6, 4-6 at No. 4; and Green won 7-5, 4-6, 10-6 at No. 5.
Brown said Fisher played a tremendous match against the Bishops, topped only by Green, who played the "best match of his life."
Waccamaw finished the season 16-3.
"This team had to come so far this year and rely on so many different players to win," Brown said. "Our kids relied on a lot of guts."
The coach is looking forward to a lot of great years with his young players.
Hendrix, who is just finishing the seventh grade, is in the top 100 in the United States in his age group.
"Without him this year would not have been possible," Brown said. "He played tough against people older than him and bigger and stronger than him."
Of Jones, the coach said, "in the future if we're going to win it he'll be the reason why."
Three Warriors - Richmond, Fisher and Hendrix - will be competing for a Class AA state singles title this weekend.
It's the first singles tournament for all three.
The top six finishers in the tournament will be named to the Class AA All-State team.