Jemison lands girl’s tennis team in state finals

Published 12:49 pm Friday, April 21, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

Jemison High School’s girl’s tennis team is state tournament bound after placing runner-up in the AHSAA Class 4A-5A sectionals on April 18. The sectionals took place at George Ward Park in Birmingham, and the Panthers battled six other schools in Section 4 for a spot in the state finals.

The top two teams from each section move on to the state finals, and points are earned in each match during the tournament. Two points go to a school for a single match win, and three points for a doubles match win.

Leeds High School won Section 4 with 63 points, and Jemison placed second accumulating 28 points.

“It was very competitive and difficult,” Jemison tennis coach Brandi Bean said. “Two of our players played a total of six matches that day … They were very resilient.”

The Panthers had three singles players who advanced to the sectional finals against Leeds — Zoie Young, Raegan Popp and Teaghan Bean. All three players won multiple singles matches to get to the finals and added points to Jemison’s team total.

Jemison also had their No. 1 and 2 doubles pairs advance to the finals at sectionals as well. Ashlynn Young and Zoie Young earned points for Jemison, and Ryleigh Anderson and Raegan Popp also earned doubles points.

The entire Jemison girl’s tennis team advances to the state finals, not only the players who advanced to the sectional finals. Each player will get a chance to contribute to Jemison’s point total at the state finals.

“I was proud, grateful and happy the girl’s hard work had paid off, and they are getting this opportunity to represent our county at states,” Bean said. “They have worked hard for years, and I am glad that work ethic has paid off.”

Jemison assistant tennis coach Chris Price was pleased to see the three seniors on the team — Ashlynn Young, Frida Maldonado and Anderson, advance to the state finals in their final year with the Panthers.

Jemison has a history in tennis at the state level winning multiple state championships in the 1990s. Now, the 2023 team hopes to add another title to the list.

“We are trying to get back to that level,” Price said. “Going into sectionals, we had to beat some teams we had lost to during the regular season to make it, and our girls stepped up and beat those teams.”

The 2023 AHSAA State Tennis Championships for Class 4A-5A will take place on April 27-28 at the Mobile Tennis Center.