Nearly perfect…that’s what Marcus Berninger was in 2019 on the court. The Jefferson junior looked every bit the part of Region 8-AAA Player of the Year. For his efforts, he’s been named BLITZ Tennis Player of the Year. It was unanimous s as he captured all first-place votes.
2019 By The Numbers
- 17-1 Record
- 8-AAA Player of the Year
- 3A State Semifinals
Berninger had a fantastic junior season. At #1 Singles, he led the Dragons all the way to the Class 3A State Semifinals before falling to Pace Academy, the eventual state champions.
Berninger was an easy selection for the 8-AAA Player of the Year, and was nearly flawless at 17-1 overall.
- Marcus Berninger – 95 pts (19 first-place votes)
- Laken Ferrell – 55 pts
- Andrew Rabern – 37 pts
- Ben Smith – 22 pts
Voting included our 19-person panel made up of sports reporters, writers, video producers, former coaches, players, GHSA officials, and sports experts. The voting is Heisman-style, with the following points system:
1st place votes: 5 pts; 2nd: 3 pts; 3rd: 2 pts; 4th: 1 pts; 5th-6th: 0.5 pts; 7th: 0.25 pts; 8th: 0 pts
History of Boys Tennis Player of the Year
- 2019: Marcus Berninger (Jefferson JR #1 Singles)
- 2018: Gabe Martin (Banks SR #1 Singles)
- 2017: Trey Wilcox (Tallulah Falls SR #1 Singles)
- 2016: Trey Wilcox (Rabun JR #1 Singles)
- 2015: Trey Wilcox (Rabun SO #1 Singles)
- 2014: Justin Yang/Gatlin Boswell (Banks SR #2 Doubles)
- 2013: Bobby Nguyen (Banks JR #3 Singles)
- 2012: Jake Schaefer (Banks JR #1 Singles)
- 2011: Will Jarrard (Lumpkin SR #1 Singles)
- 2010: Thomas Flowers (White SR #1 Singles)
Berninger is Jefferson’s first winner of the honors, and makes the first underclassman to win it since 2016 as the third junior overall to win it. As clear in the voting, Berninger was an unanimous choice for BLITZ Player of the Year.
Looking Ahead – The Next Favorite
Berninger…it’s his to lose now. The last junior to win was Trey Wilcox back in 2016. Wilcox had won it the year before, and defended it well as a senior. However, the other two juniors to ever win it were unable to win it again. Berninger seems different. He’ll again battle Ferrell and Rabern, both finalists as well this year. Someone unexpected will also earn their way into this discussion.