CONYERS - Last season was a magical ride for the Heritage boys tennis team as the Patriots rode their rackets all the way to the Class AAAA Final Four.
If the Patriots are to have similar success this season, the first step begins today at home against North Springs in the first round of the state tournament.
This season has proved to be even more successful than last season thus far for the Patriots as Heritage has defeated every region opponent it has faced this year.
Heritage boys coach Chuck Landy feels the difference this year began at the end of last year's campaign.
"The amount of work we've put in during the off-season has really made a difference this year," Landy said. "We've got the same guys as last year and they're all unselfish. They just enjoy playing tennis. In the region tournament against Dacula, we looked at Dacula and felt that they had improved. The thing was, we felt that we had improved even more."
Now with the state tournament beginning today, Landy feels his tennis troops will be ready.
"We'll be ready to play. We've just got to go out there and compete hard," he said. "The key for us is to find a way to win three games."
Landy also noted how well-rounded this year's team is on the court.
"Any one of our doubles players could play singles and that's an advantage," he said. "We've been fortunate not to have anybody get hurt this season, but if we did, I feel confident that one of those guys could step in and play."
North Springs is the No. 4 seed from Region 6-AAAA.
"They're in a great region and I've heard that they're a decent team," Landy said. "We're going to have to go out and play well."
Brandon Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: If You Go
What: Class AAAA state tennis tournament, first round
Who: Heritage Patriots vs. North Springs Spartans
When: Today, 4 p.m.
Where: Heritage High School