The Athens Academy boys tennis team won the Jekyll Jam tournament over the last weekend in February.
The Spartans went 12-3 against three opponents and defeated Effingham County 4-1 in the championship round.
The Spartans’ head coach, Jami Cashin, said that she’s been on the waitlist for Jekyll Jam for the past three years and was only able to get a spot because other schools couldn’t go on overnight trips this year. The tournament only takes eight teams and Athens Academy typically goes to a tournament in Buckhead instead.
The Spartans started their season 0-3, losing to Oconee County, Pace Academy and North Oconee. Their fortunes reversed soon after, though, as they beat Prince Avenue Christian School 5-0 and Mill Creek 3-2 the week before the Spartans went down to Jekyll Island.
“It was a huge boost going down there and finding our identity on the court,” senior Jack Jaegers said. “We went down there, and a few guys were questionable for what spot they were going to play. For them to step in and handle the pressure and for us to go down there, I think it really spoke to how well we've adapted after losing four seniors from last year, and it was also a great time.”
Jaegers and sophomore Connor Xie won every one of their doubles matches at the Jekyll Jam Tournament. The Spartans defeated Glynn Academy 5-0 and edged out a 3-2 win over LaGrange in the second round.
After the tournament, Athens Academy defeated two region opponents, Tallulah Falls and Athens Christian School, 5-0. This week, the Spartans are on spring break.
“We need a break, and it couldn’t have come at a better time,” Cashin said. “After spring break, I do more like one match a week for a little bit, and then have some hard ones at the end, right before our region tournament.”
Not only does Cashin plan tough matches at the end of the season, but she also starts the Spartans against tough competition, so they see what they need to work on early.
The Spartans are on a seven-game winning streak. They hope that they will continue their winning ways after the break.
There are only two seniors on the Athens Academy boys team, Jaegers and Braden Fass, and both will be going with the rest of the senior class to the Keys for the break.
“A break is always nice,” Jaegers said. “Although a bunch of us are geared to where even if we're on a break, we still like to get out there and hit. Official practice is different than just going out there and hitting with your friends, but it's still tennis. We love to go out there and hit no matter if it's for the school, just for ourselves or in a tournament. I think we're all going to the Keys where it's going to be a great change of scenery.”
After the Spartans return from the break, the will have two matches over two weeks.
On Wednesday, March 17, the Spartans host Morgan County. On Thursday, March 25, the Spartans will play new region opponent Loganville Christian Academy for the first time and hope to advance to 4-0 in Region 8-A-Private competition.