By Dave Heeren Correspondent
CASSELBERRY – It was another happy day for District 13 at the FHSAA Class 1A State Tennis Finals.
Sweeping all five matches on Wednesday, Saint Andrew’s rallied from two points behind to capture the boys’ team title by a point over Ransom Everglades.
The final point was an overhead put-away by Nicholas Mill that delighted a crowd of Saint Andrew’s followers, including Mill’s mother, tennis legend Chris Evert.
It was the 18th state title for District 13 teams in the past 15 years. They have won 60 percent of the team titles during that span.
“I believe we play in the toughest district in the United States,” Saint Andrew’s coach Scott Williams said.
In girls’ team play on Wednesday, Saint Andrew’s earned a trophy by finishing second.
Two players from American Heritage-Delray, which has captured 15 team titles since 1998, won the individual singles and doubles titles. Rasheeda McAdoo won in singles and teamed with Mia Horvitt to win in doubles. They’ll compete for overall titles today.
Heritage-Delray coach Brian Schleifer said McAdoo, the daughter of former NBA star Bob McAdoo, is good enough to be compared with Venus and Serena Williams, who once trained by playing against Heritage-Delray players. “Rasheeda has everything you look for — work ethic, size and athletic ability. The sky is the limit for her,” Schleifer said.
A straight-set victory in No. 1 singles by SMU-bound senior Tony Russell keyed Saint Andrew’s boys’ rally on Wednesday. “I knew I had to win or we weren’t going to,” Russell said.
No. 3 Andrew Dykeman and No. 5 Ross Weinstein also won their singles final matches on Wednesday, opening the door for the Scots if the No. 2 doubles team of Mill and Dykeman could win semifinal and final matches. They won in the semis to set up the dramatic last match against Ransom Everglades. Mill and Dykeman won it 6-3, 5-7, 6-1.
“We got pumped up,” Mill said. “We haven’t lost a match all year.”
After the match, Evert said it felt like the greatest victory of her life, even greater than Wimbledon, “because my son won.”
Mill said he could count on his mother “always being there for everything.”