Lakeside’s Elliott Bull left everything he had out on the court Wednesday afternoon.
With the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA quarterfinal match with Union Grove knotted at two wins apiece, the 14-year-old freshman battled Union Grove’s Bradley Perry for almost three hours.
After losing the first set Bull, playing No. 3 singles, rallied from one set down to win the second set 6-3, vomiting at its conclusion. He battled valiantly in the third set, but Perry pulled away for a 6-2 win, clinching the match for the Wolverines (22-4).
Bull’s effort was indicative of what the young team – five freshmen, a sophomore and a junior – displayed all year in racking up an 18-3 record, winning a region title and falling just short of the state’s Final Four.
“That kid has the heart of a mountain right now,” said Lakeside athletic director Donnie Burch. “Such a good hearty kid. To persevere and play through everything. He’s over there sick, throwing up and he still comes back out. He represents the Lakeside don’t quit attitude.”
Long after Panthers singles players Sam Dromsky and Drew Harris won their matches handily and the doubles teams lost, Bull remained on the court. He lost the first set 6-4 after trailing 5-2. He started the second set up 3-0 and led 4-2 when he broke Perry’s serve in a marathon game that went to nine deuces before Bull strung together consecutive points for a commanding 5-2 lead.
He didn’t use his getting sick between sets as an excuse for Perry winning the third set.
“I guess it took a little, but he (Perry) played really good in the third set, give it to him,” Bull said.
Even while down about the loss, the squad was proud of what they accomplished during the season.
“I think it’s been really good, especially the first year starting,” said Harris, a freshman. “I’d say it’s a pretty good base for the rest of it at the school and I just think we had a good season. We played hard, we stayed focused and positive and did what we needed to do.”