DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The Providence Christian boys tennis team has made history.
The Eagles made it to the state championship for the first time ever and they did it without a coach.
Last summer, the Eagles lost their coach to COVID-19.
Coach Clayton Jordan served a variety of different roles at Providence Christian for 25 years, including leading both the boys and girls teams.
Although he’s not here with them now, the boys know he’d be proud.
“I certainly don’t think we could have done it without Coach Clayton,” senior Jackson Tate said. “I pulled a lot of the things that we did in practices today from him and what we did with him in the previous years. He certainly laid the foundation and the groundwork and almost all of us practiced with him for a long time.”
Tate stepped up to help lead his team, but he says any of his teammates would’ve done the same.
While they could’ve let the difficult loss define the season they stayed focused and dedicated to honoring their late coach.
“We’re gonna take our opportunity and our chances and we’re gonna make something out of it,” Tate said. “They all battled hard and even though we had a tougher time than maybe some other teams had, they played just like they were any other team like they didn’t have any adversities and they battled through that and together we did a really good job.”
Providence Christian tied for third at the Class 1A through 3A State Tournament.
Seventh grader, Jackson Hughes won a singles title, also a first for the school.
Principal Kathy Compton says she is proud of how the boys came together to do what has never been done before.
“They were serious at practices and they just really had inward motivation to practice on their own and to attend the practices and give it all they had in order to try to reach the goal of state,” Compton said.
The team is excited to make playing in the championship a regular thing.