Getting back to it

Published 12:03 am Thursday, January 16, 2014

Andalusia senior David May returns a forehand Wednesday afternoon. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia senior David May returns a forehand Wednesday afternoon. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andy boys, girls tennis teams working for season

Andalusia’s boys and girls tennis teams are aiming to make it back to the Class 4A state tournament later this spring.

On Wednesday, the Bulldogs’ teams were hard at work at LBW’s tennis courts to get ready for an earlier-than-usual start of the season, which will be on Feb. 3 at Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.

Andalusia boys tennis coach Perry Dillard said this year’s boys team has a few experienced players.

“We’ve got four seniors, so this is the most seniors I’ve had in the top six in one time,” Dillard said.

Andalusia’s seniors are Brandon Scruggs, David May, Jackson Moore and newcomer, Willie Riedel.

For the Lady Bulldogs, AHS coach Daniel Bulger said he has everybody back from last year except for one who graduated.

Unlike the boys, the girls have only one senior in Karlee Shirey, a four-year player to the sport.

Last season, the Bulldogs made it back to the state tournament, where they competed for the state championship in singles. The girls missed the cut for the first time in several years.

“We definitely want to make it back to the state tournament,” Bulger said. “My goal would be to try to come in the top four and be the best public school possible. It’s a realistic goal.”

During the regular season, both teams will be serving it up against common opponents in Opp, Enterprise and T.R. MIller.

“Those are the three that we’ve had every year for us,” Dillard said. “We’ll play Charles Henderson and UMS-Wright (and Escambia County in Class 4A, Section 1 play), Houston Academy and Providence (Christian).

“We only need to come in second to got to the state tournament,” he said.

Dillard said the boys have a really good chance to make it back to the state round, which will be held in Decatur this year.

May, Scruggs and Moore went deep in the state tournament during their junior year, and said they really want to bring home a blue map.

“We’ve only been playing since middle school, so we definitely want to finish strong,” Moore said.

May said it’s going to take a lot of work to get back where the team was last year. AHS played for a state championship, but lost in singles matches.

“We’ve got to come out here and work hard and play tournaments and get better,” he said.

Scruggs said this group has a lot of ability to play well on the court this season.

Shirey said she just wants to have a good season.

“I just want to play better and get higher this year than last year,” she said in regards to making it back to the state tournament.

With their first match coming up in just over two weeks, May said it’s going to take a lot of “practice” to get ready for Fort Walton Beach.

Additionally, the three seniors said beating UMS-Wright would be a big accomplishment.

May is the son of Darien May and Edwin May; Scruggs is the son of Angela Scruggs and Terry Scruggs; Moore is the son of Jeff and Beverly Moore; and Shirey is the daughter of Victoria and Terry Shirey, all of Andalusia.