By Gary Smith
Peabody’s number one doubles tennis team of Sterling Burch and Robert Clark will carry a 12-1 record into the Small Class State Tournament to be played in Murfreesboro this week.
The senior team is scheduled to play a quarterfinal match at 9 a.m. Thursday at Adams Tennis complex against Joseph Rodriguez and Joshua Rodriguez of Merrol Hyde Magnet School in Hendersonville. The semifinals will follow at 2 p.m. and the championship match is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday.
Burch and Clark qualified for the State Tournament by winning the Region Tournament played last week at Union City. The PHS duo defeated Jacob Wilkes and Clay Pinson of Huntingdon 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) in the semifinals and beat Caleb Parker and Hayden Wilson of Union City 6-2, 6-3 in the finals.
According to Peabody Tennis Coach Paul Hudson, “Sterling (Burch) and Robert (Clark) played really well to win the Boys Doubles Championship in the Region 7 Tennis Tournament held Monday at Union City. They battled back to defeat Huntingdon in the semifinals and Union City in the finals to earn a berth in the State Tournament. I am very proud of their efforts and hard work. Going to the state will be a great reward for them performing really well.”
Playing their first year together in doubles competition, the pair of seniors compiled a 12-1 record.
“They have practiced and worked very hard this season. Robert plays the net really well and Sterling plays back. He can hit the long shot to avoid the net player. A lot of the time opponents will hit returns to Bobby at the net and he will slam it for the winner. Their games complement each other really well. They are good at covering the court and working the angles,” explained Coach Hudson.