Thomas Spratt doesn’t regret his decision to play tennis over basketball, although his 6-6 height may appear to be more suitable for the hardwood court.
All-Lowcountry boys tennis team
FIRST TEAMThomas SprattPorter-GaudJuniorSteven WeaverBishop EnglandSeniorZac DyeBerkeleyJuniorJoel RobertsPinewood PrepJuniorAdam ElligetPinewood PrepFreshmanAustin HeinzPalmetto ChristianSophomoreTom HigginsPorter-GaudCoach of the yearSECOND TEAMAddison King, Palmetto Christian, seniorHunter Mitchell, Porter-Gaud, seniorJunior Duarte, Porter-Gaud, freshmanSeth Pinosky, Porter-Gaud, sophomorePayne Hoy, Porter-Gaud, juniorConner Grady, Porter-Gaud, juniorHONORABLE MENTION:Wando: Andrew DaCosta, Robert DaCosta, Thomas Kuisel, Drew Dangerfield.Academic Magnet: Nick Butler, Alex Scott, Anthony Edwards, Hunter Legerton.Bishop England: Tristan Fletcher, Matthew Csernica, Noak Stiepel, Rowe Hicks.Palmetto Christian: Billy Perkins, Chase Shinakonis, Trey Goolsby, Micah Vasko.Pinewood Prep: Carlitos Ronco, Daniel Heimann, Davis Craig, Avery Holoubek.Summerville: Adam Seith, Brandon Sekula, Matt Barawick.James Island: Dillon Davis, Paul Wright.Stratford: Matthew Prosser, Steven Brandon.Ashley Ridge: Blair Healey, Jeremy Herrera.Berkeley: Dustin Fleming.Cane Bay: Alex Amble.Fort Dorchester: Patrick McCardle.Porter-Gaud: Wil Daniel.
While tennis has evolved into something of a big man’s game at its highest level, the Porter-Gaud star has seen his tennis game get better and better.
“I’ve always thought my height was a big advantage in tennis,” Spratt said.
“I’m really glad I switched . . . it was definitely a good call.”
Spratt gave up basketball after the eighth grade and immediately played a key role in the Cyclones’ march to a state tennis championship that spring. But such rewards didn’t come Spratt’s way again until his just completed junior year when he led Porter-Gaud to another SCISA Class AAA state tennis title.
It was in his last two matches of the season that Spratt peaked, reaching his potential with back-to-back wins over NCAA Division I-bound players Ben Horst of Hammond School and SCISA state player of the year Nick Bybel of Hilton Head Christian in the state semifinals and final.
That success at No. 1 singles not only played a key role in the Cyclones’ state championship season, but also set Spratt apart as The Post and Courier’s high school boys tennis Lowcountry player of the year.
Spratt heads a group of five repeaters on the All-Lowcountry team. Bishop England senior Steven Weaver, Palmetto Christian sophomore Austin Heinz, and the Pinewood Prep duo of junior Joel Roberts and freshman Adam Elliget are the other repeaters.
Berkeley junior Zac Dye rounds out the first team.
Tom Higgins, who has directed Porter-Gaud to six state boys championships in 10 seasons as head coach, is the Lowcountry coach of the year.
“It was a really great experience, winning the state with the tennis team,” Spratt said. “I really want to play college tennis.
“We were undefeated in 2009 when I was in the eighth grade, and it felt like we didn’t have to earn it. This was more special. Winning the state with the guys was awesome.”