Originally created 05/08/99

Prep roundup

David Sembach and Eric Odom are going for the ultimate experience.

The Greenbrier duo will have a chance to win two state championships in tennis and soccer today.

"You can't go many places and find two kids who have the opportunity to play for the state title in two sports in the same day," Greenbrier tennis coach Carl Brooks said. "It gives me chills just thinking about it."

While Brooks finds it exciting for the two, Greenbrier soccer coach Donny Rogers finds himself in a tough situation.

"It's kind of frustrating, because we really need those two guys to play well," Rogers said. "But they're just in a situation that's once in a lifetime. You've got to give them the opportunity to play. I just hope they can win their matches and get back."

The Greenbrier tennis team will play Marist in the Class AAA state semifinals at 9:30 a.m. at the John Drew Smith Tennis Center in Macon, Ga. Should the Wolfpack defeat Marist in the semifinals, they will advance to the state finals at 2 p.m., against the Woodward Academy-Oconee County winner.

Later in the day, the Greenbrier soccer team will host Woodward Academy at 8 p.m. for the Class AAA state championship.

"I can't think of a better thing than playing soccer and tennis," Sembach said last week.

Brooks is counting on Sembach to come through in his No. 3 singles position, while Odom will team with Chris Catchings in the No. 2 doubles. Greenbrier (16-1) lost to Marist 4-1 in the semifinals last year. But Brooks believes the Wolfpack is stronger this time around.

"They feel they're a year older and that fear factor isn't there this year," Brooks said. "I feel we're a lot stronger all-around. David is a better No. 3 player than we had last year. And Anil (Chawla), my No. 2 player, has improved some."

Ricky Makerson anchors the team at the No. 1 singles position, while brother Reggie and Andre Tejada are the No. 1 doubles team.

"Ricky and David have been tested," Brooks said. "Anil has been there, but I just don't know how he'll respond. If Ricky can play and David can play and we can hope for one of those doubles teams to come through, then I think we have a good chance."

Greenbrier has dominated on the tennis courts this season, losing only to South Aiken. Since the region semifinals, the Wolfpack has dropped just one set.

"In the past, our doubles from the region semifinals all the way through the playoffs, never did win a match," Brooks said. "This time around the doubles are winning."

Chris Gay covers Columbia County sports for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 868-1222 or cag112@hotmail.com


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