Daily Journal staff report
In a historic achievement, the Whiteland Community High School boys tennis team won Friday’s sectional championship at tournament-host Center Grove.
Picking up victories in both doubles matches and at No. 2 singles, the Warriors outlasted Franklin 3-2 in the title match.
With the victory, Whiteland became the first team other than Center Grove to win the championship in 26 years.
The significance wasn’t lost on Warriors coach Mike Gillespie, whose team takes a 16-4 record into Tuesday’s first round of the Center Grove Regional.
“We’ve been playing really well for a long time,” Gillespie said. “Everything kind of fell into place for us. We played well, and we won.
“It’s very special.”
Whiteland’s singles winner was sophomore Caleb Scott, who beat junior John Rockey 6-3, 6-4.
At No.1 doubles, Whiteland senior Aaron Scott and junior Adam Zietlow defeated senior Brett Blakely and sophomore Luke Snyder, 6-2, 6-2. And at No. 2 doubles, Warriors seniors Blake Surface and Josiah Adkins beat sophomore Ethan Klem and freshman Josiah Rockey 6-1, 6-3.
At No. 1 singles, Franklin junior Noah Roberts defeated senior Sam Venter, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3. And at No. 3 singles, Franklin sophomore John Rockey beat freshman Cory Ulrich 6-1, 6-0.
Franklin finished the season 10-7. The Grizzly Cubs were 1-1 against the Warriors heading into the sectional.
Whiteland, meanwhile, advances to the regional for the first time in program history. The Warriors will play the winner of the Southport Sectional on Tuesday.
“They’ve been working so hard. I’m just fortunate to have good players,” Gillespie said. “I’m happy to be along for the ride with them.”