CHS Tennis Team: 2017 State Champions!
In 1996, “Independence Day” was released on the big screen, “Macarena” could be heard on the radio, eBay was born and the Olympics were held in Atlanta.
1996 was also the last time that the Catholic High tennis program brought home a Division I State Championship. Fast forward to 2017 – Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, tension with North Korea and…. toss in a Division I State Title for the CHS tennis team!
The Bears scored 18 points in the state tournament, far ahead of state runner-up Jesuit with 10.5 points. The Bears broke the Jays’ stranglehold on the Division I state championship (they won the last nine titles) with a convincing victory at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.
Freshman Davis Weston and eighth grader Carson Chassaignac defeated a St. Paul’s team in the first round before knocking off Jesuit’s No. 2 doubles pairing. The duo defeated a Brother Martin team to advance to the semis in straight sets and would face the other CHS doubles team of sophomore Raymond Chassaignac and freshman Tripp Guglielmo.
Chassaignac and Guglielmo met Hahnville in the first round before running into Brother Martin’s No. 1 doubles team in the second round. The Bears won in a thrilling third set tiebreaker, 10-8, to advance past the seeded regional champions. They overcame a first set deficit to defeat Chassaignac and Weston in two sets (7-6, 5-2) and became the first CHS doubles team to reach the finals of the state tournament in over a decade. They would lose to Jesuit 1-6, 4-6 in the finals.
Seniors Stephen and Andrew Bienvenu entered the tournament as regional champions and blazed through the first three rounds into the semis where they met Jesuit’s No. 1 doubles team. The brothers fought hard, but fell 3-6, 3-6 capping a tremendous four-year career amassing three individual regional championships (four regional team championships) and 15 victories at the state tournament.
Senior singles player William Aguillard faced a trying second round, but prevailed before losing a tough match to the eventual runner-up in the quarterfinals. Aguillard is a four year starter with two individual regional championships (four regional team championships) and 10 wins at the state tournament over his career.
Junior singles player Nick Watson made some very difficult matches look easy on his way to a three-peat. Tennis coach Kyle Jackson commented, “He dropped seeds like a faulty bird feeder.” The three time champion only lost two games during the entire tournament and that was in the finals. Watson has an incredible 44-0 prep career record as he completed his junior career with another individual state title.
Jackson, a 2007 CHS alum and former player, could not be prouder of his squad. “I am proud to coach these players and I am humbled to lead the tennis program at my alma mater,Ó said Jackson. ÒWhat a great team effort in the two day tournament! The guys showed a great mental toughness in Monroe and our seniors did a tremendous job with team leadership and chemistry. I will miss our seniors and their parents, but they will always have the experience of bringing the championship trophy back to Catholic High for the first time in two decades.”
Click here to read more about the BearsÕ victory from The Advocate.