Briarwood tennis sets records, rolling into postseason

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

Briarwood’s boys and girls tennis teams are both in good shape heading into the postseason as the boys look to follow up their 2017 state championship with a repeat performance in 2018, and the girls are looking to improve on their third place finish from a season ago.

The boys’ tennis team used its success in 2017 as well as the return of a youthful team to spark an unbelievable season in 2018. The Lions ended up running the table this season with a perfect 11-0 record, which makes them the heavy favorite to win the 4A/5A state title in the coming weeks.

Incredibly, last season marked the first state championship for the boys in school history, but it was just the breaking ground of something special, as the team has been dominant this season

It wasn’t just a perfect 11-0 record that highlighted Briarwood’s season, but after a big road win over Walker County, by a final 9-0 in its last regular-season contest, the Lions completed a season that featured 9-0 victories in every match.

That means Briarwood failed to drop a match the entire season and finished the regular season with a perfect individual match record of 99-0.

The team was already going to be successful thanks to the return of guys like Parker Bradbury, John Wolfe and others, but even seventh Grader Ethan Carr as well as four freshmen have been an integral part of the success.

Possibly the scariest part of it all is that the Lions don’t have a senior on the team this year and will return all of its players next season.

Briarwood’s 2018 regular season included wins over Mountain Brook, Hewitt-Trussville, Homewood, Spain Park, Hoover, Corner, Demopolis and Trinity of Montgomery.

The Lions also won the Weinacker Invitational Tournament in Birmingham, and the Deco High School National Tournament in Chattanooga, Tennessee to compile a combine record of 17-0 in match play, which set a record for the Briarwood tennis program for wins in a season.

The Briarwood Girls team was not too far behind in 2018 going 10-1 during the regular season.  The Girls won the Shelby County Championship, and finished 2-1 at the Deco High School National Tournament in Chattanooga as well.

Those tournament wins give the Lions a combined record of 12-2 in match play.

During the season, Briarwood beat Trinity of Montgomery, Walker County, Corner, Hoover, Demopolis, Spain Park, Homewood, Hewitt-Trussville and Sipsey Valley.

Both teams have strong chances in the sectional tournament which will be hosted by Briarwood. Each will host Central-Tuscaloosa, Corner, Demopolis, Oak Grove, Sipsey Valley and Talladega.

The boys will take to the court on Tuesday, April 17, while the girls will play on Wednesday, April 18.