By Austin Bishop
The Webster Progress-Times
Pam Champion couldn’t help but smile as she watched the MHSAA Calls 2A State Tennis Tournament come to a close last week.
When all was said and done the East Webster tennis coach was able to watch her Wolverines lay claim to a pair of individual championships, as Hayden Hill put in a long, grueling day to win the 2A girls single championship and the duo of John Taylor Champion and Samuel Butler claimed the boys doubles title.
“I am so proud of this team and so excited about their future because we are so young,” Champion said. “We had five eighth graders and a seventh grader who were starters. We gained a lot of experience.”
Hill, a sophomore, beat Brooke Payne of Union 6-4, 6-2 in the finals to claim the crown.
“She played a two hour and 45 minute match earlier in the day and then had to recover from that to play in the finals,” Champion said of Hill. “She hung in there and keep fighting.”
The boys doubles team of Champion and Butler won their opener 6-0, 6-0 on Tuesday, before taking a a 6-0, 6-2 win over the No. 2 seeded duo from arch-rival Madison St. Joseph on Wednesday morning. Champion and Butler then had to go three sets before knocking off the No. 1 seeded team, also from St. Joe.
“They split the first two sets 6-4, but then they were able to take the third set (6-1) to get the win.”
While the East Webster coach was obviously pleased with the Wolverines’ two state tittles, she was also excited that she had three other entrants reach the semifinals in their events.
Rhett Parker advanced in boys singles, while the boys doubles team of Charlie Brand and John Carpenter won their opening match as did the duo of Taylor Davis and Holly Ellis in girls singles.
“I’m really pleased with these individual championships, but know we are looking to see how far we can go as a team next year,” Champion said.