TIFTON -- The Tift County High tennis teams are headed to the beach today. But, they are not packing swimsuits as the Lady Devils and Devils are facing off against the Glynn Academy Terrors and Lady Terrors in the second round of the state Class AAAAA tennis tournament.
A win by either team would put Tift in the third round of the state playoffs for the first time in school history. Last year both teams fell in the second round.
"Our goal is to move up one notch this year," said Tift coach Jim Clayton. "Making the third round would put you in the company of some good teams."
He continued, "when I look at the bracket I get excited to see us continue to move up."
Clayton said he had not gotten any scouting reports on either Glynn Academy squad, but said, "they each won their region (3-AAAAA) and that region has 15 schools. To be the best out of 15 schools must mean they are pretty good."
After getting through the first round, neither Tift lineup will change for today's second round matches.
The Lady Devils will go with seniors Becky Alt at No. 1 singles and Whitney Lightfoot at No. 2 singles. Sarah Dutcher will line up at No. 3 singles. Anna Cohen and Rachel Lawler will go at No. 1 doubles and senior Marcy Shiver and Amanda Lawler will play at No. 2 doubles.
Jacob Sauls will be at No. 1 singles for the Devils. John Bowen will play at No. 2 and Charles Brown will go at No. 3.
Seniors Bo Gray and Daniel Eriksen will line up at No. 1 doubles. At No. 2 doubles, Tyler Sandifer and Russ Vann will line up for the Devils.
"We think we have got a legitimate chance in both matches. We are not afraid to step out on to the court with anyone," said Clayton.
With five seniors lining up on both teams, Clayton is expecting the 12th graders to come up big for the Tift squads.
"I know they do not want this to be their last matches. They have been good for Tift County tennis and Tift County tennis has been good for them," said Clayton.
A win by either Tift County team could put them against some familiar faces. The Devils could face the winner between 1-AAAAA rival Colquitt County and McIntosh, while the Lady Devils could face the winner between another 1-AAAAA school, Lowndes High, and McIntosh.
"We have all four of our girl's teams still alive and three of the four boy's teams. It says a lot for the caliber of tennis we play in Region 1-AAAAA," said Clayton.
Both matches will begin today at 3:30 p.m. at Coastal Georgia Community College in Brunswick.
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TY TY [mdash] Skyelar Hope "Skye" Tanner-Durden was born and passed away on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, at Tift Regional Medical Center. A graveside funeral service was held for Baby Skye at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, September 20, 2020, at Mount Zion Baptist Church Cemetery in Chula, where she was …