WALNUT COVE — Like a number of other boys’ tennis teams from the area, Surry Central came into 2017 with a relative young squad and players filling roles that they had never had to fill before.
But the Golden Eagles are making it work so far. In fact, after completing four matches in the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference, Central is just one individual match victory short of being in the conference lead, and it will get a chance to reverse the verdict of that match later on.
On Wednesday, the team made a quick early trip down to South Stokes in order to get in their WPAC match before a forecast of rain intervened, and the Eagles rolled to a 9-0 victory. None of the Central singles players lost more than five games in winning their match in straight sets, and the Sauras actually had to forfeit the No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles match because they had just five players available.
No. 1 seed Brandon Norman had the toughest time of any of the Central singles players, downing Thomas Carroll 6-1, 6-4. Going down the lineup, Zane Joplin beat Fisher Elliott 6-1, 6-3; Seth Buie stopped Cameron Dawson 6-2, 6-1; Alex Burks defeated Zack Fields 6-1, 6-1; and Rodrigo Landaverde claimed a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Utah Mendenhall. Kevin Montero won at No. 6 by forfeit, and he and Landaverde also won their doubles match on a walkover.
The other two doubles teams had to play for their wins, but claimed them with little trouble. Norman and Joplin defeated Elliott and Dawson 8-2, and Buie and Burns beat Carroll and Fields 8-3.
The victory improved Central’s record to 5-4 overall and 3-1 in conference play. So far, the Eagles have beaten North Surry and South Stokes by 9-0 scores and Forbush 7-2. Their only hiccup was a 5-4 setback to West Stokes on March 28 in King. The teams will rematch on April 13 in Dobson, with the possibility of a co-conference title still very much up in the air if things hold true to form — something that would be an impressive achievement for a Central team that returned just one starter from last season.