Unlike this time last year when schools were shuttered and playing fields sat idle it’s playoff time.
Richmond Hill’s girls soccer team (11-3) will be at home at 6 p.m. Thursday to take on Lakeside-Evans at Wildcats Stadium in a first round GHSA Class 6A state tournament game.
The Wildcats are a No. 2 seed with their two region losses coming at the hands of Glynn Academy. Coach Dorothy Biron’s team has posted 10 shutouts. On Friday the No. 4 seed Wildcats boys (7-7) will be at Lakeside-Evans looking to continue an up-and-down season that saw them win their opener, lose four straight and then climb to 6-4 before dropping three of their last four.
Bryan County’s girls tennis qualified for the GHSA Class A state playoffs for the first time in 10 years and while they lost to Irwin County, 5-0, on Monday in the first round Coach Laura Blair said that took nothing away from the Redskins’ season.
As a No. 4 seed the Redskins had the misfortune of drawing an Indians team which year in and year out is one of the top teams in Class A. Irwin County is well known for its football but its girls tennis teams state championships in 2014-2016 and are an annual contender at the state level.
“Although we lost, we learned a lot,” Blair said of her young team which is made up of junior Hannah Butler and Emily Edwards, sophomore Summer Hodges and freshmen Clara Howard, Amber Gray and Sarah Conner.
Butler had a 9-2 record at No. 1 singles and Clara Howard played at No. 2. Due to lack of depth the Redskins did not have a No. 2 singles player, Blair said.
The No. 1 doubles team was made up of Gray and Conner while Edwards and Hodges played No. 2 doubles.
“Hannah and Colton Gunter (5-4), who plays No. 1 singles on the boys team, had great seasons,” Blair said. “They played against more experienced players and were team leaders. They worked a lot with younger players who had never held a tennis racquet before this season.”
Sophomore Tyler Burnsed was No. 2 singles for the boys, also coached by Blair, and freshman Devin Murray is No. 3. Sophomores Blaze Garrett and Trevin Polk and freshmen Paulo Morales and Morales make up the doubles teams.
Richmond Hill’s tennis teams also made first round exits in Class 6A as the No. 4 seed boys lost at Heritage-Conyers, 4-1. The girls were a No. 3 seed from Region 2-6A and lost at Lakeside-Evans, 3-1.
The Wildcats lacrosse teams have clinched state tournament playoff berths and Coach Megan McDonough’s girls team will have a No. 1 seed as they are in first place in the Class 1A-5A Area 8 standings.
Richmond Hill (11-1, 4-0) will carry an 11-game win streak into non-region games Friday and Saturday at Grovetown and Evans, respectively. The boys, meanwhile, hosted Benedictine on Wednesday night with the winner earning the Area 8 title.
Danielle Alysse Lester (cq) leads the girls with 34 points while Allie Washington has 29 and Katelyn Miller 25. Washington is a familiar name to Wildcats fans as she is the No. 1 pitcher in softball and helped lead Richmond Hill to an Elite 8 berth in the girls flag football state playoffs.
The boys (9-3, 6-0) are led by Hayden McCullough with 52 points and Caleb Christiansen with 49 while Tommy Dimarzio has also been a key contributor.
Dimarzio has a thirdbest 27 points and the fourth-year season has won an outstanding 93.4 percent of his faceoffs (185198). Goalie Kaden Russell has 56 saves as Coach Tom Corbin’s team has outscored its opponents, 196-72.