Call it a draw.
The Franklin County and Frankfort High boys tennis teams played each other Thursday for the second time this season.
The Flyers extracted some revenge, winning 4-1 at FCHS.
“Overall our progress has been good,” FCHS coach Gheorghe Ignat said. “The last time we played them they beat us 3-2, and today it was 4-1.”
Franklin County won all but the No. 1 singles match Thursday. That went to FHS’ James Murphy, who defeated Ryan Sturm 6-2, 6-2.
“We’ve played a lot of close matches,” FHS coach Singer Buchanan said, “and our record doesn’t reflect our talent level. We’re 3-8 now, but it could be more like .500 at this point.”
At No. 2 singles, the Flyers’ Alex Mucci defeated Seth Midkiff 7-6 (10-8), 6-3, and Andrew Greenawalt won the No. 3 singles match 6-0, 6-0 over Noah Bates.
The No. 1 doubles match went to a tiebreaker, with FCHS’ Joshua Young and Sean Jarboe winning 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-5) over Nick Ballantyne and Matthew Bailey.
Franklin County’s Eric Lowe and Clay Marshall took the No. 2 doubles match 6-0, 6-1 over Dylan Sullivan and Jared King.
The Flyers are in a rebuilding mode with none of last year’s top seven players back this year.
“They only played exhibitions,” said Ignat, in his first year as coach. “They never played real matches.
“I’ve been working with our younger players, trying to help them improve for next year, and perhaps they can be on the varsity team.”
Ignat started the season with four seniors – Greenawalt, Mucci, Young and Lowe. Sturm and Jarboe, the team’s other seniors, came out for the team after the season had started.
The Flyers have about 20 players on their roster and 12 who show up consistently.
The Panthers have considerably fewer players out.
“They have a great attitude,” Buchanan said about his team. “We have small numbers, only eight players. We have a couple of new ones, and the returners have all done well. They’re good citizens.”
FHS has two seniors on this year’s squad. King is in his fourth season on the team, and Ballantyne is a first-year player.
“They’ve both contributed big time with leadership,” Buchanan said. “Jared is more quiet but when he speaks they listen, and Nick is having a great time playing a new sport.
“James Murphy, a junior, has been our No. 1 singles player all three years of his career,” he added. “He does a great job, and he’s a great assistant in practice. He helps out the other kids willingly.”
With eight players and seven spots for matches, Buchanan rotates players so all eight get the chance to play. Logan Brothers was the player who sat out Thursday’s match.
Both teams close out the regular season today before starting the regional tournament Monday at FCHS.
The Flyers are hosting Anderson County today, and Frankfort is playing a match at Western Hills that was originally scheduled for Tuesday but postponed because of weather issues.