HERSHEY, Pa. — A dramatic 3-2 win at the Hershey Racquet Club on Saturday gave Lancaster Country Day their school's first-ever team state title, in addition to a perfect 23-0 season.
"It's great to see a group come together towards a common goal and to watch these boys and what they've battled through, to get back here and find the other side of the coin this time," said head coach Chris Wilson.
After finishing state runners-up last year, any coach and player would like to have their sole focus on tennis heading into a state title match-up. But after cruising past Central Columbia in the quarterfinals, the Cougars had to readjust their schedule for Saturday morning's semifinals, because of another pretty big event in their lives.
"It was a crazy day," added Wilson. "We won yesterday, knowing that we had graduation at 10 a.m. Fortunately, the PIAA worked with us and moved our time to the 8 a.m. time slot and our boys were able to finish that match and get to graduation on time."
And once the semifinal win was secured, they returned to school.
"I was up at 5 a.m., came here, warmed up, played the match, rushed over back to my school for graduation, got some food, recovered, and came back here to win the state title," recalled senior Niles Abadir.
"I woke up super early, played the first match, went to graduation, gave a speech, sent out our school newspaper, and obviously came here, so I think this is probably the most exhausting day of my life," said senior Freddie Bloom.
So when Lancaster Country Day beat Lower Moreland for the state crown, four Cougars technically did it as alumni.
"I didn't even think of that," said Abadir. "I mean, school history is special, but it's cause I did it with my team. I got an individual state title my sophomore year, but I can't describe the emotions I'm feeling right now. It's truly amazing and I wouldn't trade it for any other experience."
It was a busy day, but one they'll remember forever.
And yes, there will be a push to have one more edition of the school paper this year, for some late record-breaking news.
"I will go back to school and make sure everyone writes, or somebody writes about this because it's truly an awesome achievement and I'm so proud of my guys," said Bloom with a smile.