Talk about a relaxed coach at a Lower State girls tennis final.
Meet Phil Whitesell, the former College of Charleston men's coach who now coaches the Oceanside Collegiate Academy girls team.
Well, actually, Whitesell wasn't quite as relaxed as his top two players, seniors Kat Lyman and Emma Smith. They were given the day off on Tuesday for the Class AA girls tennis Lower State championship match at Philip Simmons' sparkling new complex near Cainhoy.
Luckily, Oceanside took a 6-1 victory over Philip Simmons. It was the third one-sided win this season for Oceanside over the Iron Horses, so it's not surprising Whitesell was relaxed.
But coach Richard Schulz's "kiddie corps" from Philip Simmons might not be taken so lightly in future seasons. Philip Simmons' singles lineup was made up of three seventh-graders, one eighth-grader and one freshman.
Now, it's on to Saturday's noon state championship match at Cayce Tennis Center for the Landsharks against Upper State titlist Christ Church Episcopal of Greenville. And you better believe Lyman and Smith won't be relaxed. And neither will Whitesell.
Christ Church has won the last two state titles and owns a total of 15 state girls tennis titles. Christ Church posted a 6-0 victory over Greenville rival St. Joseph's in the Upper State final.
In the absence of Lyman and Smith from the court, Arkansas State-bound senior Jill Morse played No. 1 for the Landsharks and posted a 6-0, 6-0 win over Philip Simmons eighth-grader Sydney Mimms.
"We're definitely a little nervous about playing Christ Church," Morse admitted at courtside. "It was a fun match. I train with the girl (Mimms) I played today at LTP, so it was fun."
Regular No. 4 Emily Loring played No. 2 for the Landsharks and posted a 6-3, 6-3 win over freshman Maddy Bolig.
"I'm very proud of the girls and how hard they worked to get here," Whitesell said. "We're looking forward to a great match on Saturday."
OCA 6, PHILIP SIMMONS 1
SINGLES: Jill Morse (O) def. Sydney Mimms, 6-0, 6-0; Emily Loring (O) def. Maddy Bolig, 6-4, 6-3; Caroline Lively (O) def. Olivia DeMarco, 7-6 (2), 6-1; Elise Smith (O) def. Ansley Cohen, 6-2, 4-6, 10-2; Gracen Harris (O) def. Autumn Fort, 6-1, 6-0.
DOUBLES: Mimms/Bolig (P) def. Harris/Grace Madison, 5-2; Ashton Loring/Grace Berchtold (O) def. Lola Downie/Katelyn Shrouds, 8-0.
Reach James Beck at email@example.com.