“We have 12 players, no seniors and a couple juniors. We have a very young team. It’s tough as far as leadership, but our captain is doing good,” said Rountree.
Junior Ben Thrash is the third singles player and captain for the Tigers, described by Rountree as a vocal leader who also leads by example.
Junior Brandon Ashiedu is the first singles player for the team and according to Rountree is “by far the most dominant player” they have. Ashiedu has played tennis all his life and at Douglas County since his freshman year and he is currently 3-1.
“He’s really come on strong for us this year,” Rountree said.
Another strong aspect of this team is the second doubles team, composed of sophomore Andrew Teal and freshman Andrew Heatherton.
“We’re strong in singles and doubles, but we’re a lot stronger in doubles than we were last year now that my freshman joined my sophomore,” said Rountree.
Junior Nick Gardener is the second singles player and the first doubles team is made up of Matt Camp and Patrick Murphy.
With the match against Chapel Hill this week, Rountree said he is confident his team can give them a run. Rountree also said he has never beaten Chapel Hill, but he would like to as their coach, Robert Nail, was Rountree’s coach in high school.
“They have a great coach. It’s a big rivalry. I learned everything I know from him,” Rountree said.
As for the match against Westlake, Rountree said that will definitely be a challenge as two of their players are already committed to Clemson University.
The Tigers haven’t been to the state playoffs since 2010 and they would like to change that this season.
“The boys have become more comfortable with each other. Now we’re just working on winning and closing matches out. We’re learning how to get that killer instinct,” said Rountree.