Aquinas heads to quarters in tennis

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It's been a memorable season for Aquinas first-year coach Karen Hayes , but it's not finished yet.

With Wednesday night's victory, the Fighting Irish boys tennis team is in the Class A state quarterfinals after reaching the state semifinals last season.

Though the Fighting Irish lost some players from the previous team and faced a tough draw, Aquinas is still closing in on the title.

"It's been a very exciting first year," Hayes said. "They got me nervous, but the boys are pumped. Hopefully we'll be in the final four."

Collin O'Quinn , Denton Boone and James O'Quinn are the three singles players, and Hayes complimented Boone's and James O'Quinn's quickness and consistency as they picked up wins in the team's victory against Eagles Landing Christian Academy.

Aquinas also has strong doubles players as John Ingram and Andrew May (No. 1 doubles) and Chris Pak and Sadler Quarles (No. 2 doubles) have aided Aquinas' run.

Next up is a meeting with Pace Academy at 2:30 p.m. Monday at Forest Hills Racquet & Swim Club.

"They're so into faith -- they pray every match," Hayes said. "They're so thankful for every win, every point and are supportive of each other. They just try so hard."

COACHING CLINIC: About 40 high school football coaches will come together on Saturday for the CSRA Football Coaching Clinic at Peak Rehabilitation, Fitness and Performance's and ATHELITE Sports Training Academy's new facility in Evans.

North Augusta coach Dan Pippin , who worked with Lakeside coach Jarrett Troxler to help come up with the event, said this is the first of its kind in the Augusta area. Pippin sees this as an opportunity for local coaches to share information, discuss football and learn.

Lee Sawyer, of Strom Thurmond, Washington County's Joel Ingram and other coaches will be speaking throughout the day. Pippin said the first speaker is scheduled to talk at 8:30 a.m.

"You have to have people want to speak, and I just called a bunch of coaches and everyone was more than happy to do it," Pippin said.

SIGNINGS: Butler boys basketball player Chris Washington signed with Tallahassee Community College last week.

Washington, listed at 6-foot-7, averaged a double-double this past season as the Bulldogs won the Region 3-AAA Tournament title and advanced to the Class AAA state finals.

In tennis, A.R. Johnson's E'lysia Ortiz signed with Florida A&M.

Ortiz has been the school's No. 1 singles player since her freshman year.


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