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Bay boys tennis team set for trip to State

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 11:00 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The Bay boys tennis team is just about set to face some of the State’s best in the Orlando area this week! The group of five Tornadoes, seniors Jake Chapman, Zach Cox, Santi Granducci and Jake Harbison, and freshman Connor Seaberger, finished as the runner up in 2A district one to South Walton. They then went on the road to Gainesville and beat Eastside 4-3, that’s in five singles and two doubles matches. They followed that up late last week with a win at south Walton in the region final, also by a score f 4-3. That has the Tornadoes heading to the State Tournament in the Orlando area tomorrow, to compete with 7 other 2A teams for team and individual state championships. We’ve been unable to confirm when the last time any bay boys tennis team has made it to State, of if at all? Suffice it to say getting this far is a big deal!

“These gentleman here are totally dedicated to the sport.” Bay head coach Loretta Tuning told me during the team’s Monday practice. “They come out, they practice, they take private lessons. They really enjoy what they’re doing. Some of them have state rankings. And some of them I’ve had since they were freshman and they didn’t know how to play the sport. But throughout the years they continued to practice and get better and better. They’re very determined.”

The players say they are thrilled to be getting this chance, especially for four of them anyway, in this their senior seasons! ”To be on this team and to be able to experience this with them, it’s just amazing. I don’t have words for it.” says senior Santi Granducci. Adds senior Jake Chapman “I knew we had good players to move on past districts. And you know honestly the stars aligned. And everything went our way. It could have gone other ways, but we pushed through.” And senior Zach Cox puts it this way. “It means the world. We’ve worked so hard for this. We’ve come close but we never even made the regionals. And yeah it just means the world that we get to finally do this. And especially in our last year.”

The team will travel Tuesday, and start competing at State Wednesday. ,Bay goes up against Mast Academy out of South Florida in the 2A bracket to begin with.

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