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Local players named to all-region tennis teams

As is becoming a yearly occurrence, the all-region 8-AAAA tennis teams were filled with local players. Eighteen players from the three Rockdale County schools received all-league honors recently, led by girls coach of the year Brian Smith of Heritage.

Smith, whose team was region runner-up, had five of his players join him on the girls team, led by first-team selection Alix Maloney (No. 1 singles) and second-team Kaylee Humphries (No. 2 singles), along with honorable mention selections Ashley Merkel at singles and the doubles team of Fran Murry and Devon McLaurin.

Rockdale, which sent both of its teams to the state tournament for the second consecutive season, had another impressive showing on the all-region teams. Patrick Sanders and Summer Walker were each named to the first team as No. 1 singles players, Jasen Lauritsen and Anthony Adams were named first team at No. 1 doubles, while No. 2 singles Trey Hull made the boys second team. The Bulldogs' No. 1 doubles team of Libby and Abby Bradford made the first team, while singles players Shoman Kasbekar and Ciara Chesser were both honorable mention selections.

"It's great to see the guys and girls get the recognition they have earned," said Rockdale coach Stephen Sansing. "This is the largest contingent of players we've had on the all-region team, so it definitely feels good to know that the other coaches saw the same things we did all season. I always tell my players, no matter what sport, 'If you win, the recognition will come. If you worry about individual awards, you lose sight of the main goal of the team, and that is to win.' Coach (Ramona) Houston and I have the best group of tennis players you could ask for, because they didn't worry about the individual."

The Heritage boys had three players receive all-league honors as the doubles team of Hunter Hudson and Levi Lund made the second team and Jay Vinson was an honorable mention pick in singles play. Salem singles player Amber Cannon was named girls honorable mention.