West Stokes tennis team remains undefeated in conference play and on Thursday overwhelmed South Stokes 9-0 for the second time this season.
“All of them are very coachable and good athletes,” said Wests’ coach David Smith. “Most of them seem to like the sport so they’re working at it. The camaraderie has been great.”
The Wildcats have pulled through hard fought matches to earn wins over the last few weeks besting Surry Central 5-4, North Surry 6-3, and Forbush 5-4.
“Forbush has gotten a lot better, but Surry Central is always our biggest competitor,” Smith said.
On Thursday, West swept every match beginning with their No. 1 Ethan Elliott defeating Thomas Carroll 0-6, 0-6. Frank Sells downed Jesse Carter 0-6, 0-6, Andrew Spainhour outlasted Fisher Elliott 0-6, 0-6, Noah Spainhour defeated Dylan Price 1-6, 0-6, Cameron Cresong won against Zach Fields 0-6, 0-6 and Ian Simpson finished first over Blake Bullins 1-6, 0-6.
In doubles, Elliott and Noah Spainhour defeated Carter and Fisher Elliott, Sells and Andrew Spainhour prevailed over Carroll and Price, and duo Cresong and Simpson came out on top over Fields and Alex Booe.
Last season’s regional champion, Ethan Elliott, continues to dominate dropping only one match this season.
“He’s developing his skills and I think what sets him apart is his mental attitude,” Smith said. “He’s very coachable and team oriented. He encourages the others guys. He’s really one of those players you’re lucky to coach.”
Moving forward deeper into conference play, Smith tells his athletes to play as aggressive as possible.
“They have to know when to go from offense to defense. It helps that they have good serves and ground strokes that are pretty consistent, too.”
While the Lady Sauras tennis program thrived last season, finishing the WPAC in the top two with each of their players earning combined winning records, the boys program has struggled to keep that same momentum going.
“We’re hard pressed winning games right now,” said coach Darren Redding. “There’s a mental block there and we’ve become our own worst enemy.”
South has picked up wins against Rockingham and McMichael, and hopes to gain a conference win in the near future.
“Our No. 1 seed, Thomas Carroll is a good player, but things haven’t been going his way,” Redding said.
The coach is encouraging his players to keep working on and off season and believes success will follow suit.
“They guys practice hard. We’ve just got to gain a little more confidence and mentally get a little tougher, and play harder.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.