CHS Tennis: 2018 STATE CHAMPIONS!
For the longest time, it seemed like the Jesuit tennis program was the hunted, rattling off nine straight state championship victories in Division I. After capturing last year’s state championship, the roles have been reversed, with the Catholic tennis program being the hunted. With Jesuit, Brother Martin and St. Paul’s both coming to UL-Monroe with strong teams in 2018, repeating was not a certainty for the Bears.
After day one of the tournament, the Bears were in the driver’s seat with both doubles teams and both singles players reaching the state quarterfinals. After another round, Nick Watson was in the semifinals and the duo of Raymond Chassaignac and Tripp Guglielmo also advanced to the semifinals on day two.
On Tuesday morning at Heard Stadium, Chassaignac/Guglielmo defeated the experienced Brother Martin doubles squad of Armbruster/Chanes in straight sets in the semis. Later in the day, the Catholic doubles team dispatched Jordan Edney and Kent Shiell of St. Paul’s in straight sets to win the state doubles title.
Decorated senior Nick Watson entered the semifinals on Tuesday morning with an undefeated record in his high school career. The South Carolina signee made quick work of Aiden Mahoney of Barbe to move to the finals and capture a fourth state singles title. In the finals, Hahnville’s Armand Godard made the first set interesting by breaking Watson’s serve and taking a 2-2 tie into the fifth game. Watson buckled down and took the remaining four games of the first set and then blanked Godard in the second set to win the singles title, 6-2 and 6-0. Watson concludes his stellar high school career with a 57-0 record.
6th year head coach Kyle Jackson, Class of 2007, said, “I am so proud of our team. They felt confident coming in and displayed that confidence on the court. We knew that Jesuit would fight to reclaim the state title from us and that Brother Martin and St. Paul’s had a strong presence as well. Watching Raymond and Tripp win a state doubles title in their second year of competing together is rewarding.”
“I am humbled to be the coach of four-time state singles champion Nick Watson,” added Jackson. “What a way to finish his career, with an ace! There are not enough words to describe what he has meant to our program as a player and teammate. There are not many Louisiana tennis players that can say they finished their prep career undefeated and a four-time state champ. Wow!”
“Our entire team made significant contributions all year to get us into position to win another state championship,” said Jackson. “Playing against competition in national tournaments helped our guys tremendously. Going back to back was a great way to acknowledge the hard work and sacrifice the guys have made over the past few years. Their individual commitment to the success of the team is what solidifies the foundation the first place trophy rests upon.”
Click here to read more about the state tennis finals from The Advocate.