Madison Academy Wins Boys State Tennis Championship- First Title In School History
MOBILE- The Madison Academy Mustangs’ athletic program picked up another state championship trophy by winning the AHSAA Class 4A-5A boy’s tennis title by taking first place honors in three of the six singles finals at the Mobile Tennis Center.
Parker Jacques won the No. 1 singles title with a 6-0, 6-0 finals win over Guy Mitchell of Altamont. Jacques, a junior, followed in his father’s footsteps as Eddie Jacques won the AHSAA singles and doubles state championships in 1991 playing for Huntsville High. The elder Jacques was rated the No. 1 recruit in the country after graduating from Huntsville High and signed with the Georgia Bulldogs. With the SEC school he won three consecutive SEC titles and was an NCAA All-American. Eddie Jacques is currently the owner and tennis director of the Athletic Club of Alabama in Huntsville.
Parker Jacques advanced to the finals with earlier round victories of 6-0, 6-1 versus Keeton Hetrick of Wilson and 6-3, 6-1 over Edward Lee of LAMP High (Montgomery).
Teammates Sam Fulkerson (Jr.) defeated Ian Kim of LAMP 6-2, 6-3 to take the No. 3 singles championship and Grady Byrne (Jr.) raced past Ashton Stacey of Guntersville 6-4, 6-1 to claim victory as the No. 5 state champ. Fellow Mustang Ben Haggard (Sr.) lost in his bid to win the No. 2 singles championship by falling to Juno Jeon of LAMP 6-3, 6-1.
In doubles, the team of Jacques and Haggard won the No. 1 finals versus Edward Lee and Junu Jeon of LAMP. Final scores were 6-2, 6-1.
“Going into the tournament we were very confident as this has been a good team all season long and the athletes feed off one another during play,” said Jason Young, 12-year head coach of the Mustangs’ program. “Ben went into the finals after a very tough and grueling semi-final match.”
Both Madison Academy and LAMP were tied in team scoring, but the Mustangs won in a playoff scoring the state title 65-60. In the playoff, the No. 1 and 6 singles and the No. 2 doubles play with the team winning two out of three declared the winner. For Madison Academy, Young said, “Sam Fulkerson and Matt Perkins, both juniors, played very well to win their match in the playoff and with Parker already winning the No. 1 singles, we were the champions,” added Young, of the Mustangs’ first boys title in school history.
In Class 7A, played at Lagoon Park Tennis Center in Montgomery, Parker Free of Bob Jones was the lone representative of the Patriots’ program at the State Tournament after winning the Sectional a week earlier. Free advanced to the finals with victories of 6-1, 6-1 over Charlie Wilson of Fairhope and 6-1, 6-2 over Santiago Castillo of crosstown rival James Clemens. In the No. 1 singles championship, Free was defeated by Jake Wilson of Spain Park 6-1, 6-2.
Team scores in Class 7A had Spain Park taking the state championship scoring 43 points while Bob Jones finished sixth with 6 points followed by James Clemens with 4 points.