A taste of victory: ACCS tennis players prepare for state tournament in Jackson

Published 12:02am Tuesday, May 6, 2014

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Christian School tennis team is hoping to end one of the best seasons in Rebels history on a high note as the team heads to Jackson for the MAIS Class AA state tournament Wednesday.

After winning the South State tennis meet last week, tennis coach Jimmy Allgood said his athletes are experiencing the results of their hard work.

“For us to take 10 kids into South State and have four champs and one runner up, that just shows where these kids are progressing and really enjoying the taste of victory versus defeat,” Allgood said. “Now that they have tasted victory, they want more of it.”

The Rebels are going into the state tournament in Jackson as the top seed in mixed doubles and No. 2 boys doubles, and the second-seed in No. 1 boys doubles.

And as the top seed, Julianna Wallace and her mixed doubles partner Chris Guedon have come a long way from their first match of the season.

“At first it didn’t go well,” Wallace said. “It was actually pretty bad the first game, then after about the fourth game it got a lot better.

“I never played doubles (before this season), I never had to share the court with someone else. It was different.”

Though Wallace had to get used to letting her partner have a couple of swings, No. 2 doubles partners Justin Allgood and Dillon Galbreath have natural chemistry in their two years as partners.

“We have developed over the years,” Justin said. “Our first year, we played mixed doubles more than with each other. As we kept playing, we would want to play with each other against others and found out we had good chemistry and we could play.”

With a year under their belts, Justin and Galbreath came into their senior year with an undefeated record, but their winning streak was tested in the South State championship against Laurel Christian School.

The duo snuck past the Lions in a tough bout, 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.

Galbreath said that match opened their eyes to the type of competition they had yet to face.

“It showed us that there is always someone just as talented, and whenever you think you’re the best, you can be beat,” Galbreath said. “That’s what Laurel Christian showed us, we’re not going to get it easy.”

With Laurel Christian heading into the state tournament as the No. 2 seed, there is a chance the two may meet up again on an even larger stage.

“If we play with the right mind, we can come out champions,” Galbreath said.

Wallace said despite the stiff competition, she believes every Rebel can make their school and city proud if they work hard.

“We’re going to play the best we can, that’s all we really could ask for,” Wallace said. “It would be great to win, but as long as we do our best, I’ll be proud of us.”

Coach Allgood feels the same way, and he said he is proud of his athletes for they have endured to this point.

Allgood has several athletes that have played tennis, golf and baseball this spring, and seeing them spread themselves thin and do it well means a lot to him.

Allgood is also the golf coach.

“These kids have become like circus acts with going to baseball practice, then out to tennis practice then golf,” Allgood said. “And also we push them in the classroom.”