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Rebels advance to Sweet 16 in boys tennis
Clark Heller goes high to put away a shot in the second set of his singles match Wednesday. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD -- The Effingham County Rebels are one step away from their goal.

The Rebels swept Houston County in Wedbesday's opening round of the Class AAAAAA boys tennis tournament, earning a date with Tucker or Evans in the Sweet 16 next week.

"Hopefully, we will be able to advance further," Rebels coach Barry Kirkland said. "Our goal is to go further than we did last year."

Last year, Effingham County advanced to the round of 16 for the first time in five years.

"I've got a lot of seniors and I want them to experience the Elite Eight," Kirkland said.

If Evans upsets Tucker in the first round, the Rebels will host the Knights next week. They will have to hit the road if Tucker prevails.

On Wednesday, Nathan Knight, Martin Carper and Clark Heller represented Effingham County in singles. The doubles teams were Alex Knight-Graham Corless and Cole Pierce-Macen Evans.

Effingham County's girls lost in the first round at Valdosta on Tuesday 3-2.

""It was a good match," Kirkland said.

No. 1 singles player Dakota Wilson finished the season with a 16-5 mark. Carlie Sheppard and Lucy Winchester went 19-2.

See the April 25 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.