With all the other matches complete, all eyes were on A.C. Flora senior tennis player Michael Davis.
The fans at the Eddie Floyd Tennis Center moved over to watch Davis’ third-set tiebreaker with Beaufort seventh-grader Graeme Angus. Davis didn’t disappoint the pro-Flora crowd by winning 10-5 to clinch a 4-2 team win over Beaufort in the Class 4A boys tennis state championship Saturday.
“I wasn’t sure what the overall score was, so I asked my coach and she said we were up 3-2 so I thought I better win now,” Davis said. “It was definitely exciting to be able to finish it like that.”
Davis dropped the first set to Angus, one of the rising tennis stars in the state, before battling back to win the second set 6-3. Flora coach Amy Martin thought Davis’ experience in big matches helped Saturday.
Davis is one of seven seniors on the team.
“I knew it would be a tight match and was hoping and praying Michael’s experience as a senior would pay off in the long run in the tiebreaker,” Martin said.
A.C. Flora boys tennis is enjoying its most successful run in program history. Saturday’s title was Flora’s fourth overall and first in Class 4A. The other previous championships were in Class 3A.
A.C. Flora has made it to the state championship six times since 2014. Before that, the Falcons had been to only three championships in 2004-06, winning it all in 2004 and 2005.
“This has been a really special group,” Martin said. “Luckily we didn’t lose any seniors from last year. And for these seven seniors, to go out like this, it is huge. I wanted it for them because it is a swan song for them.”
In addition to Davis, Flora’s other wins came from No. 2 singles Rick Hewitt, No. 3 singles William Overdyke and No. 1 doubles of Ethan Johnson and Myers Murphy.
Beaufort was making its first championship appearance, and coach David Riedmayer said it won’t be the last. The Eagles won region championships the past two years and finally broke through and made it to the title match.
Beaufort will return Angus and only lose two seniors. The Eagles’ other match wins Saturday came from No. 4 singles Bodie Daniel and Griffin Stone.
“This team is awesome and like a family right now,” Riedmayer said. “I just told them that being first in lower state and second in state is pretty awesome. We are going to be coming back next year and we are going to win the whole thing.”
Singles: Michael Davis (ACF) def. Graeme Angus, 3-6, 6-3, 10-5; Rick Hewitt (ACF) def. Tucker Martin, 6-1, 6-1; William Overdyke (ACF) def. Diego Alvarez, 6-3, 6-4; Bodie Daniel (B) def. Calhoun McCullough, 7-5, 6-4; Griffin Stone (B) def. Lucas Jeffords, 6-4, 6-2. Doubles: Ethan Johnson/Myers Murphy (ACF) def. Joseph Combs/Witt Compton. 7-6, 6-3