Rebuilding Flyers beat short-handed Panthers

By Nate Parsons Published:

Franklin County boys tennnis may be in a rebuilding year, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to lack in the winning column.

“We’re young, we’re going to learn, we’re going to get better as the season goes on, we’re going to have a lot of fun and we’re going to have a winning record,” said first-year FCHS coach David Fields, whose team has 13 players with only two seniors. “I believe in my guys.”

So far, so good.

FCHS rolled in No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles, beating Frankfort 4-1 Friday night at the Kentucky State University Athletic Complex. FHS, which won at No. 1 singles, had to forfeit two of the matches because of lack of players.

The Flyers (2-1) opened the match by easily winning No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles in straight sets. Senior Abhi Dharanipragada beat senior James Spisak, 6-0, 6-0, and the tandem of juniors Logan Goodwin and Caleb Hughes cruised past the tandem of seniors Nick Hoffmann and Jackson O’Daniel, 6-0, 6-1.

“I’m very proud of them. It’s a good win, good to have a winning record,” Fields said.

That paved the way for a back-and-forth match between FHS senior Seth Midkiff and FCHS seventh-grader Cameron Smith. After losing the first set, 7-5, Midkiff came back to win the second set, 6-4, then the tiebreaker, 10-6.

“Seth is a four-year player. ... I believe that he has it within himself to overcome anything in life and tennis is just a method to show it to him,” FHS coach Singer Buchanan. “He’s one of the best players in the county no doubt.”

Smith led the tiebreaker 2-0 before Midkiff scored the next four points. Smith could never regain the lead after that.

“Cameron hit the ball well, he just wasn’t consistent enough today,” Fields said.

While the Panthers (0-2) won No. 1 singles, winning an entire match may be hard this year as they have just five players.

“The goals are for the kids to enjoy playing tennis, to have a good attitude about it and to basically be good, productive citizens as well,” Buchanan said. “Winning is important, but knowing the size and the composition of our team right now, we’re looking at other ways to motivate the kids.”

Both teams are back in action Monday. FCHS, which has 24 matches this year, hosts Bullitt East, and FHS, which will play 17 matches, heads to North Oldham.

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