District finalists defeated

Hedden, Mavs duo fall in first round of region

  • Clinton junior Cole Hedden serves during his region tournament match. - Conner McCarty

  • Clinton’s Cole Hedden sets up for a return. - Conner McCarty

  • Anderson County’s Sheev Patel serves during the Mavs’ region match. - Conner McCarty

By the championship matches of last week’s boys’ tennis District-3 Singles and Doubles Tournaments, only three local student-athletes remained.

In the boys’ singles tournament, Clinton High School junior Cole Hedden had reached the district title match.

Along with Hedden, but in the boys’ doubles tournament, Anderson County’s Sheev Patel and Carter Utley had also reached the district final.

Thus, with district tournament final appearances, Hedden and the Patel-Utley pair earned TSSAA Region-2 Tournament births.

In the District-3 Singles Final, Hedden would fall 6-3, 6-3 to Oak Ridge’s Andrew Lee

In the District-3 Doubles Final, the Mavs duo would fall 6-4, 6-2 to Oak Ridge as well.

On Monday, the Clinton and Anderson County representatives returned to Tyson Park to compete in the first round of the Region-2 Tournament.

However, both Hedden and the Mavs duo would face the District-4 Tournament champions, from Knoxville West High School. Matching their opponents’ was an issue for both Hedden and the Anderson County doubles team.

“When you get to the regions, you play these guys that have played since they were little. You might still be able to hit with them, but you have to match their consistency,” said Clinton standout Cole Hedden.

The consistency, shot-making ability, and positioning of the student-athletes from Knoxville West High School were impressive.

Both Hedden and the Mavs pair would be defeated, and their seasons have come to an end.

Nevertheless, getting out of the district tournament is a big acomplishment.

The Anderson County and Clinton tennis programs have yet to make an appearance at the boys’ TSSAA State Tournament, and will look to make history by doing so in 2020.