Unsatisfied with making history once, the Franklin Community boys tennis program was at it again Wednesday.
The 25th-ranked Grizzly Cubs dominated Perry Meridian 5-0 to take home the trophy as champion of the Center Grove Regional.
In a span of six days Franklin has captured the school’s first sectional and regional titles.
The Cubs return to the same courts at noon Saturday to face second-ranked and seven-time team state champion Park Tudor in the Center Grove Semi-state.
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The Panthers defeated Zionsville 5-0 on Wednesday at the Plainfield Regional.
“We’re approaching every match just like it’s a regular-season dual match instead of a sectional or regional,” Grizzly Cubs coach Rodney Snyder said. “These kids are starting to really gel and play well at the right time.”
All five points against the Falcons came by way of straight-set victories.
Senior Noah Roberts defeated Perry Meridian’s outstanding freshman, Sajin Smith, in No. 1 singles, 6-2, 6-3. Smith, son of former Center Grove standout and two-time state singles champion Bryan Smith, had taken Roberts to three sets during the regular season.
“The key today was to be more aggressive,” Roberts said. “The last time I got too mad at myself and was missing too many shots. This time I tried to play a more consistent game.
“Give (Smith) a lot of credit. He played real well.”
Junior Jonah Rockey downed Perry Meridian’s Devon Amos, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 2 singles; Franklin’s Andrew Bennett defeated David Seals, 6-3, 6-1, in No. 3 singles.
“This season has been great,” Rockey said. “We knew coming in that we could do good things this season. We were pretty confident that if we played like we know how to play we could pull it out (against Perry Meridian).”
Franklin’s top doubles tandem of senior Jacob Rockey and junior Logan Snyder did its part, scoring a 6-1, 6-2 win against Falcons’ seniors Brian Carpenter and Davis Demeter. The Cubs’ No. 2 doubles pairing of Ethan Klem and Josiah Rockey also won by a 6-1, 6-2 score.
Now 17-2 this season, Franklin continues to look ahead.
Prohibitive underdogs against Park Tudor, the Grizzly Cubs are taking a nothing-to-lose approach.
“I tell them that the (Park Tudor) kids play tennis the same way we do. They have classes like we do, and they’re the same age,” Snyder said. “We just have to go out and compete the best we can and execute our shots, and not worry about what they do.”