The Washington High tennis teams won nearly every finals match on Tuesday to sweep the District 1-3A Tournament in dominating fashion at the University of West Florida.
The district championship was the sixth straight for the Wildcats boys and second straight for the girls.
“I’m as proud as I’ve ever been as a coach at Washington,” said head coach Michael Edge, who expected a tough battle with Gulf Breeze. “They came out strong and clinched (the district title) after the singles finals. These kids have worked harder than any other team I’ve ever coached, and today it showed.”
The Gulf Breeze boys and girls finished second to earn a spot in the state playoffs along with Washington.
As a district champion, the Wildcats will host the the District 2-3A runner-up on Tuesday in the Region 1-3A quarterfinals, while Gulf Breeze will go on the road to play the District 2-3A champion.
In District 1-1A, the Catholic boys and girls also completed a clean sweep, winning every finals match en route to the championship.
Both Crusaders teams have won district titles the past three seasons. They won Tuesday’s title handily.
The boys dropped just three games in five singles and two doubles matches. On the girls’ side, Kallie Erickson battled to a 7-6, 6-1 win in No. 2 singles against Rocky Bayou Christian’s Cassie Young. But the Crusaders dominated all other matches.
The challenge now for Catholic will be making sure the team is ready for Tuesday’s state playoff match, head coach Geoff Watts said.
“My kids are on spring break right now, and I want them to enjoy that,” Watts said. “So, we’re going to practice Monday and we’ll just have to make sure that our energy level is high so that we can get ready for Tuesday. If we pass that test, we’ll have to practice even harder on Wednesday.”
Catholic and Washington will find out today who they will face next.
The Washington boys — led by senior Reece Acree and junior Austin Racine, who are both undefeated — enter the playoffs with just one loss to Niceville. The girls are undefeated.
“We’ve had one of those seasons where we’ve been able to dominate in the area,” Edge said. “And now, it’s our turn to go out and try to win a region title so we can get to state.”
Gulf Breeze’s Ben Barrow handed the Washington boys their lone loss in the tournament, defeating the Wildcats’ Carl Dawson 6-3, 6-0 in No. 3 singles. Kelly Barnhill was the Dolphins girls’ sole finals winner with a 6-0, 6-1 win against Washington’s Rebecca Hedrick in No. 2 singles.
“This is the first year I’ve had both my girls and boys teams win six out of seven matches,” Edge said.
“That’s an incredible thing.”