Tennis team loses to Reagan, West

Published 11:02 am Tuesday, March 19, 2024

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Davie’s tennis team did what it had to do to stay unbeaten in a match at Mt. Tabor. The War Eagles, though, were overmatched by Reagan and West Forsyth.

After losing twice to Tabor in 2023, the War Eagles got some payback on March 11 as they squeaked out a 5-4 decision.

“This one was a dogfight, as it seems all our recent ones with Tabor are,” coach Shane Nixon said.

The score was 3-3 after singles.

“Tabor is strong at the top, so we knew our guys at 1-2-3 (Zach Hill, Grayson Busse and Hayden Key) would need big efforts,” Nixon said. “The scores are not indicative of how close most of the games were. My top three played well (in defeat).”

At Nos. 4-6, Brady Carter (6-2, 6-4), Jackson Hepler (6-2, 6-3) and Barrett Taylor (6-2, 6-1) were victorious.

“Brady, Jackson and Barrett were huge, obviously,” Nixon said. “Each did enough to not just win, but put our team in a position to get the W.”

Davie had to have two doubles, and Carter/Max Rappaport (8-4 at No. 3) and Hayden Key/Hepler (9-7 at No. 2) got it done.

“Coming through in doubles is a good thing for us,” Nixon said. “We are still figuring out exactly what the doubles teams will look like long-term, so for it to come down to that and to pull it out in a 9-7 thriller at two doubles, we will take it.”


The match at Reagan one day later was a 7-2 buzzkill. A 7-2 home loss to West Forsyth – the third match in three days – was eerily similar.

According to Nixon, it was understandable why Davie lost to both for the fifth straight time.

“Reagan has another stacked team,” he said. “At every spot they have guys who are really good and who have experience in our league. Reagan is good enough to go a round or two in the playoffs, so no shame in losing to them on their courts.

“West is probably the best team we’ll play all year. They are good, deep and they are very well coached. They’ve had a stranglehold on the top spot in the CPC for a couple years now. There was nothing wrong with the effort today. Again, WF is just that good.”

Carter and Rappaport were responsible for all four wins in the back-to-back losses. Against Reagan, Carter won 6-1, 6-4 at No. 4 singles. At No. 3 doubles, Carter/Rappaport won 8-4.

They did the same thing against West. Carter won 6-2, 6-3 in singles, and Carter/Rappaport won 8-6 in doubles.

Carter’s high school career is off to a remarkable start. He’s 6-0 in singles and 5-0 in doubles while teaming up with Rappaport each time.

“Brady is really putting on a show at No. 4,” Nixon said. “He plays with a moxie that I love. With Max as his doubles partner, the two freshmen are really playing huge.

“Brady just kind of refuses to lose. I’ve talked about how his style is different, how he in unorthodox, maybe it is just time to say he is a really good player. At some point, as legendary football coach Bill Parcells said, “You are who your record says you are.” Well, Brady is 11-0 and has played the big boys. His doubles partner, Max, is doing something that is really hard to do. He is sitting during singles, then coming in fresh and making a huge difference in doubles. He has embraced some coaching that changed his style just a little, and it has made all the difference. These two have bright futures ahead of them.”

Nixon gave a shout-out to Taylor, who lost to Reagan in a tiebreaker.

“Barrett is a great character kid,” he said of the junior. “He’s the kind of kid we want representing DC in everything. Today was an example of that, as he lost a first set kind of badly, but fought back to win the second.  We work hard on tiebreaker mentality, but the kid from Reagan got ahead and just didn’t give Barrett a chance. I love Barrett’s character.”

Notes: Davie entered the week 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the Central Piedmont Conference. … Hepler and Taylor are both 4-2 in singles.