Louisa, Ky. — Lawrence Co. wrapped up the 15th Region Tennis Championship in both boys and girls on Thursday night at the LCHS Tennis Facility.
L to R Superintendent Dr. Robbie Fletcher, LCHS Principal Myram Brady, Molly McClanahan, Blake Maynard, Chase Kendrick, Head Coach Joey McClanahan,
Assistant Coach Sarah Simpson, Kennedy Gauze, Riley McClanahan, Alex DeSario, Hannah May, Hannah Delong, Alex Frazier and Lexi Frazier.
It was the sixth straight team title for the Lawrence Co. Girls.
They were led by Junior Kennedy Gauze who won her third singles title in as many years. Kennedy beat Chloe Sykes from Shelby Valley in the semifinals 6-2 and 6-0 and then out lasted Makinna Caudill from Magoffin County in the finals 6-2 and 6-1.
The girls doubles team of Riley McClanahan and TK Ellis lost to a pair from Belfry 6-3 and 6-0 in the semifinals.
For the boys it was their first Region title since 2019.
They were led by 8th Grader Chase Kendrick who won the singles championship over fellow Bulldog Junior Blake Maynard 6-0 and 6-3.
The boys double team of Alex DeSario and Cayden Sweeney lost to Pikeville 6-1 and 6-1 in the semifinals.
All seven will be competing for a state championship in Lexington beginning Tuesday May 30th.
Lawrence Co. Tennis Coach Joey McClanahan
“… I am so happy to see Lawrence County back on top of the 15th Region for the boys. It has been since 2019 that the Bulldogs were overall champs. I came on board the following year and we had a very strong boys team but Covid hit and it seemed to take the steam right out of the sails. I had a lot of fun coaching with former head coach Cindy Hay those years, we had a lot of great kids, but it feels sweet to bring the trophy back to Lawrence County with 8th grader Chase Kendrick and Junior Blake Maynard dominating the singles tournament along with a great performance from freshmen Alex DeSario and Cayden Sweeney making it to the semi-finals. These are a special group of kids, especially how they act on and off the court. Senior Trey Hall won the Region’s Sportsmanship award. He is the second Bulldog in a row to win that honor and that means more to me than anything.”
“… It is sweet to bring the boys overall Region Champ trophy back to Lawrence County with these group of boys, especially how they act on and off the court.”
“… This was a rebuilding year for the girls. We still have the region’s best singles player in Kennedy Gauze, but we lost a girl from last year’s region champs, Ashlyn Osborn, who played at EKU this year. We had some juniors, Riley Sammons and Riley McClanahan, step up and two seniors, TK Ellis and Brylee Blair, that had never played tennis before, come out and give us a spark that led us to our sixth regional championship in a row. Brylee and her doubles partner Molly McClanahan didn’t make it to state, but their victory in Region helped get us enough points to ensure the overall championship. I am extremely proud of all these ladies.”
“… The state tournament has not historically been kind to Eastern KY. The schools around Lexington and Louisville produce the majority of the talent in the state. KHSAA selects the top 8 seeds in the state for the boys and girls doubles’ and singles’ 64-player bracket and then randomly fill the brackets with the remaining 56 entries. In years past, we have seen victories in the first round, but the talent escalates drastically in the second and consecutive rounds. It is exciting to get to see our kids play other very talented players from across the state and get that valuable experience. I am optimistic that we might see some of our Bulldogs make it to the second round and possibly beyond this year.”