Banks County tennis came into 2019 fresh off quarterfinal runs by both the boys and girls last season. Long-time coach Jim McKinney left Banks County with a huge hole to fill, but first-year coach Natasha Savage is keeping the winning tradition alive.
For the girls, an Elite 8 and 17 wins in 2018 were program records, as the Lady Leopards earned the 8-AA region title for the first time since 2012. The program has continued to thrive since that 2012 season, as the girls made state every year save 2016, and have two Sweet 16 trips to go with the one Elite 8 run.
The boys have enjoyed much of the same, including last season’s 13-win, quarterfinals run. It was the second straight Elite 8 run for the Leopards, who own a pair of region titles as well (’16-17), and have made state six straight seasons now.
To date, the Lady Leopards are a fantastic 8-1 overall and 2-0 in region play. Sophomore Chloe Smith (reigning BLITZ Tennis Player of the Year as a freshman last year) leads the way at #1 singles, going 8-1. Jaden Hoard is also 8-1 at #2 singles, while #3 singles Amber Morris is 7-2. The #1 doubles combo of Jill Martinet and Betsy Chambers is 8-1, as is the #2 combo of Mikayla Beckett and Aspen Davis.
The Leopards’ record doesn’t jump out at this point, as they are just 2-7 overall, but many of their players are coming from other winter sports (as usual) and are already 2-0 in region play, which is significant.