Augusta Christian Schools - Nate Tingen and Joseph Tingen.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Nate Tingen and Joe Tingen are formidable tennis players in their own right, but when the brothers form a doubles team, they're practically unbeatable.
The Tingens have been the No. 1 doubles team at Augusta Christian Schools for three seasons now, and they also are the top tandem in the Georgia Independent Schools Association.
Nate and Joe have claimed the past two GISA Class AAA state doubles titles, and they also helped the Lions capture the team championship in tennis last year.
This season, the Tingens are bigger and stronger, and more determined than ever. Nate is a senior co-captain for AC, and his younger brother wants to see the prep partnership finish on a high note.
"As long as we're playing together at Augusta Christian, we want to win," said Joe, a sophomore. "We don't want to lose in out last year together."
Defeat isn't part of the plan when state tournament time arrives later this month. The Tingens have rarely lost in doubles while playing for the Lions, and they've been able to pull out the crucial points to thwart challengers en route to their state titles.
Nate and Joe both picked up a racket at an early age, and their year-round practice has paid off.
"When we first started playing tennis, we weren't that good," Nate said. "But it started to come naturally to us, and we've built some confidence. It helps when you know you can win when you get out on the court."
Each has their own specialty on the court, as Joe takes care of the forehand shots, while Nate slams the backhand. And if one is off his game, the other picks up the slack.
For Nate, identifying the most satisfying thing about their tennis success is easy. "The state championship rings we get every year," he says.
Should the Tingens power their way to a three-peat in doubles, and help the Lions defend the team title, Nate and Joe will have five rings apiece.
That prospect is enough to get the siblings' attention.
"We can joke around and just have fun, but when we want to win, we get pretty serious," Joe says.
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