Fort Payne’s tennis season flew by this year.

With the weather cancellations the Wildcats had to condense their season to just three weeks of competition. Tuesday their season ended at sectionals, just shy of advancing to the state competition.

The boys finished third overall, placing ahead of Arab and Southside.

Sophomore Tyler Berry made it all the way to the finals and lost to Arab giving him a runner-up finish. Head coach Chris Bible said he has a bright future.

“For him to come out as runner up was very good,” Bible said. “We’ll have him for two more years and his future looks really good.”

Fort Payne had four players advance to the semifinals before being defeated in Noah Benefield, Austin Weldon, Marcus Chaney and Tyler Berry.

“All of those guys are going to be back,” Bible said. “They all competed very well and we’re looking forward to the future they have.”

The boys also performed well in doubles. Noah Benefield and Jamie Edwards, Jake Davis and Austin Weldon and Tyler Berry and Marcus Chaney all made it to the semifinals also.

On the girls side, the Lady Wildcats came in fourth place finishing ahead of Southside. Abby Fraebel and Bethany Bares made it to the semifinals in doubles play.

“The girls played well also, but they had a much tougher draw,” Bible said. “The girls bracket was a lot tougher, and they are a young team also.”

Having the slow start to the year because of the weather made it tough on the team to get in a rhythm.

“We just weren’t able to practice much and had a lot of cancellations,” Bible said. “It made it really hard for us to get in a groove and rhythym. Overall, though, I was pleased. We’ve got a lot coming back next year and we’re looking to have a good year next year.”

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