Tiger Cubs defeat Eagles 4-1 on the court
On Wednesday the boys' tennis teams from Greencastle and South Putnam battled for the first time in many years. The Tiger Cubs came away with a 4-1 decision, sweeping the singles competition and earning its first win of the season.
"It's a good feeling," GHS head coach Sam Hirt said. "A lot of things we've been specifically working on are finally paying off. Our last match I could see them paying off to some extent when we played a tough team and lost.
"South Putnam is new and they have some good players and they're going to get better, but it was nice to see our young talent against their new talent and do the things we were specifically working on, do them well and get the win. It's really a good day."
Greencastle won the first match of the night as Landon Miller defeated J.D. Briones in straight sets 6-2, 6-2. The Tiger Cubs continued to roll in the singles event as No. 2 singles player Mike Waddell defeated Tyler Long 6-3, 6-3. The win was Waddell's first of the season.
Rounding in out the GHS singles sweep was Jason Ummel who defeated South Putnam's Colin Berry 6-1, 6-2.
The team Greencastle No. 1 doubles team of Adam Gerard and Christian Richie battled South Putnam's Trey Moore and Aaron Cole to the night's only three set match.
Gerard and Richie quickly earned a 6-2 win in the first set and looked poised to give Greencastle another quick win. However, Moore and Cole flexed some muscle and won the second set 6-2. In the third set, Greencastle won a dominant 7-1 tiebreaker.
"The first set we kind of dominated to win it 6-2," Hirt said. "I'm thinking, 'all right, that's going to be one of our W's' and then a little bit later they're down 2-4, 2-5 in the second and I'm like, 'oh no, what's going on.'" But to lose 2-6 in the second and then to come through and win all the way into the tiebreaker and win 7-1, that was great.
"In that tiebreaker Adam Gerard really came through and hit quite a few really good shots right in a row. That was great."
South Putnam recorded its only win on the night in the No. 2 doubles event. The Eagles duo of Jake Carmichael and Zane Crosby won 6-4, 7-5 over Greencastle's Alex Asbell and Kaleb Fleming.
"I think they have probably about four wins throughout the season, so they have the most wins of anybody," South Putnam head coach Allan Rains said. "I think one thing that helps them is their chemistry. They get along so well it doesn't matter if they win or lose a point, they're always supporting each other and I think that's a big plus for those guys
"They're just fun to watch like a lot of our kids. They play hard."
South Putnam is enjoying its first boys' tennis program since the early 1980s and Rains is excited with what he's see thus far.
"We're lucky to have 14 kids able to play at the very beginning of the season," Rains said. "They're very coachable, they're fun to be around and when we come to practice from 3:30-5:30 p.m., they're all business. When the time's over, they relax and they get along well together. I've really enjoyed my first season at South Putnam.
"This is our first team since the early 80s. Mr. (Matt) Griswold was really good about being able to get nine matches for us and we're just having a blast this season."
Hirt said that Wednesday's win, his first as GHS head coach, would serve as a big confidence booster for his squad.
At South Putnam
Greencastle 4 South Putnam 1
No. 1: Miller (GHS) def. Briones (SP) 6-2, 6-2
No. 2: Waddle (GHS) def. Long (SP) 6-3, 6-3
No. 3: Ummel (GHS) def. Berry (SP) 6-1, 6-2
No. 1: Gerard/Richie (GHS) def. Moore/Cole (SP) 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7-1)
No. 2: Carmichael/Crosby (SP) def. Asbell/Fleming (GHS) 6-4, 7-5