Cathedral goes for state championship on Monday

Published 12:36 am Saturday, May 2, 2009

NATCHEZ — Hours of practice and years of playing matches have gone into the Cathedral tennis team’s preparation for the state tournament.

Now that time is here for the Green Wave, who will play in the MHSAA Class 1A State Tournament at Parham Bridges Country Club in Jackson on Monday.

And luckily for Cathedral, the team its up against is a familiar one, the defending state champion Sacred Heart Crusaders.

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“Cathedral is playing Sacred Heart for the team championship,” coach Marla Beard said. “We beat Sacred Heart at district 4-3.”

But despite all the practice and preparation, Beard said worries do still run through her head.

“We feel like they’re going to do some switching around on their lineup,” she said. “I guess the main thing is to see if you’re thinking of all the possibilities and putting your team in the right position.”

Madeline Beard, the returning state champion in girls singles, will play French Camp in the individual state match, while Davis Beard and Cami Willard will play the No. 1 girls doubles against East Webster.

Davis Beard and Willard won the state title in No. 1 doubles last season.

“This is not something new to them,” Marla Beard said.

But it is new to Adam Blackwell and Dwayne Perkins, who will play the No. 2 boys doubles individual championship match against French Camp.

“This is the first time Adam and Dwayne have played in individual (matches),” Marla Beard said. “But I don’t think they’re nervous. I think they’re ready and excited about it. They’ve worked hard and played well all season.”

The tournament starts with the team championship at 9 a.m., followed by individual matches at 1 p.m.

And Marla Beard said she’s excited to see what her team can do.

“They’re out here hours and hours past practice, working hard,” she said. “Practice is difficult because I have 16 kids and we share the Duncan Park courts with (Adams County Christian) and Natchez High, so we only have two courts at a time. But it’s just a super group of kids, and I’ve not had any trouble with anybody.”