Lakeside High School's boys tennis season came to an end on Wednesday the same way it has for most of the past decade. Woodward Academy beat the Panthers in the state playoffs.
"I guess we can go ahead and make the T-shirts. 'Best public school team in the state of Georgia'," Lakeside boys tennis coach Donnie Burch said.
The veteran Lakeside coach has been on the wrong end of too many losses to Woodward Academy over the years.
The private school team out of College Park, Ga., knocked off Lakeside in the state finals last year.
In fact, five of the past six boys tennis state tournaments have seen Lakeside eliminated by Woodward Academy.
"What can I say? The guys played hard," Burch said. "They knew what they had to bring to the table today."
Woodward Academy, visiting Lakeside in the Class AAAA tournament state quarterfinals this season, won the first three matches to advance to the state semifinals.
Powell Porter beat out Panther Will Holloway in the No. 2 singles match 6-2, 6-1, and both Lakeside doubles teams also fell to the War Eagles.
Woodward Academy, ranked Class AAAA No. 1, has lost only one match all year - a regular-season tournament loss to a high school squad from Memphis, Tenn.
After Woodward Academy eliminated Lakeside in just less than two hours on Wednesday afternoon, War Eagles coach Jeff Meese complimented the Panther squad.
"Every time we've played them it's been a close match," he said. "They're right up there with Marist and St. Pius and all the others."
Lakeside's boys, ranked Class AAAA No. 7, claimed their 19th straight region championship earlier this season by winning the Region 3-AAAA tournament.
Lakeside girls face McIntosh
Lakeside's girls tennis team is still in contention for a possible state championship. The Lady Panthers will face off against McIntosh on Monday in a Class AAAA state tournament quarterfinals match. The contest will be played at Lakeside with a scheduled start of 3 p.m. McIntosh is the No. 1 ranked team in Class AAAA while Lakeside holds a No. 8 ranking.
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