Going into Tuesday’s match against Mooresville, the second of many conference matches to come this week and also coming up right after a hard loss against Whiteland the previous night, the Hawks had a lot on their minds. Many of which were negative.
But, we had something to be thankful for: life. And it was something that we were reminded of over and over again throughout the evening against Mooresville, as both teams came together for our second annual Smash Cancer event, a night where both teams dedicate their match to a person, family or organization that is facing difficult times in the battles against Cancer.
The Mooresville team dedicated their match to a local man who had been facing cancer in their community, while Decatur represented a young 7-year-old boy and his family who has been fighting Leukemia for the last few months. And that young boy and his family were recognized at the beginning of the introductions before the match began. He was presented with raised funds from the Decatur team selling T-shirts in his honor, as well as received a pair of tie-dyed orange socks, a free T-shirt, and a dyed bandanna in recognition of the hard battle he and his family have been facing.
And needless to say, regardless of the outcome of the match, both teams (win or lose) had something to be thankful for that night.
And that morale remained the rest of the night, despite a hard 0-5 loss for the Hawks, who once again faced a tough battle against Mooresville, who have been sporting very consistent play and a couple of state-ranked players. It was definitely a battle.
At #1 singles, sophomore Charlie Tran fell to state-ranked senior Kye Barrett relatively quickly 0-6, 0-6. Junior Seth Fitzpatrick lost to junior Patrick Curran 2-6, 0-6. Junior Austin Hardin made his varsity singles debut at #3 singles and fought long rallies, but in the end came up short against freshman Peyton Wilson 0-6, 0-6 making it a 3-0 lead for the Pioneers.
In doubles, it was a very similar night. At #1 doubles, senior Casey Martin and junior Miles Webb were finally able to come back together after a few changes in lineup, but despite the return of the chemistry, they fell short 1-6, 2-6 to really great shots and quick points against senior Drew Strietelmeier and senior Kaden Roberson. At #2 doubles, senior Will Sommers (who once again battled injury) and sophomore Dakota Atwood took on sophomore Logan Prather and sophomore Caden Bradley, and fought each game valiantly, but couldn’t capitalize and fell as well, with a score of 0-6, 0-6.
JV had a bit more success, but still ended the night with a 2-4 loss against the pioneers. Bright spots were both found in doubles play. Senior Braeden Parton and sophomore Alex Cruz managed to keep their win streak alive against sophomore Austin Britt and freshman Brock Gibson with an 8-2 victory. Also, senior Peyton Lucas and freshman Dylan Moseley managed to hold off freshmen duo Trae Creech and Chase Perkins and walk away with an 8-6 win.
The match may have ended in defeat for the Hawks, but the hope was still present. It’s nights like tonight where we are reminded that life is short, and definitely worth more than the numbers on a paper. And this is most definitely not the end of the road for the Hawks. There’s still a lot of tennis to be had, and the next match will be Thursday at home against the Martinsville Artesians in conference play. Come on out and show your support. Go Hawks!