Bonham, Buitt are undefeated

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 7, 2007

BOGUE CHITTO — World tennis icons Roger Federer of Switzerlandand Andy Roddick of Texas would make an awesome men’s doubles teamon the professional circuit.

Bogue Chitto boasts an awesome boys tennis duo in seniors ChaseBonham and James Buitt. They are undefeated (16-0) entering thisweek’s Class 1A State Tennis Tournament at Parham Bridges TennisCenter in Jackson.

For Bonham, age 17, and Buitt, age 18, this is their first yearto play doubles together. Buitt, 5-foot-10 and 189 pounds, playedmixed doubles as a junior. Bonham (5-8, 175) was a member of theboys doubles team last season.

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“We haven’t lost a set all year,” proclaimed Bonham. “We haveoutscored opponents 205-26.”

Looking to the future, both netters plan to attendCopiah-Lincoln Community College in the fall. They might play forthe Co-Lin tennis team, too.

“We’ve been best buddies since kindergarten,” said Bonham. “Wework hard and practice a lot together.”

On court, Buitt said he and his partner are on the same wavelength. “We communicate a lot better than most teams we play.”

Buitt praised his teammate. “Chase hustles a lot. He’s quick andhe gets to a lot of shots most people wouldn’t try for. He’s a goodall-around player.”

Bonham, who plays right field on BC’s baseball team returned thepraise. “James is a great net player. He is solid all-around.”

Asked about their professional tennis idols, Bonham said headmires the No. 1-ranked Federer the most. “He has the will towin.”

Buitt said he is impressed by Roddick’s Texas-sized delivery.”He has the best serve I’ve ever seen. I love his power.”

Bogue Chitto tennis coach Donnie Stuart had nothing but praisefor his two seniors and their maturity level. “I don’t even have tobe there for practice. I just tell them what to do and they’ll workhard at it.

“They are real good students in the classroom, too. Theycompliment each other. Chase is the excitement and James is thedesigner. He presents several shots.”

The 2-week layoff between district and state has forced theBogue Chitto duo to practice more than usual instead of playing amatch. “It’s hard to find competition around here,” said Buitt. “Weplay a lot of singles against each other.”

Who’s the best?

Buitt points to Bonham and laughs. “Chase usually wins nine outof 10 times.”

They both want to win it all in the state tournament.

Panthers At Ridgeland

The Brookhaven Panthers participate in the Class 4A State TennisTournament at the Ridgeland Tennis Center, starting Monday.Representing Coach Terri Hall’s Panthers are

Alex Lea and Hannah Driskell in girls doubles versus WestLauderdale, Elliott Warren versus Kyle Nelson of Northeast Jones inboys singles, Lydia Warren versus East Central in girls singles,and Mason Dixon and Blake Hobbs in boys doubles versus Laurel.

Loyd Star Competing

Representing Loyd Star in the Class 2A tournament at ParhamBridges are Courtney Watts and Haley Shedd in girls doubles andJeffie Smith, boys singles. They are coached by Heather Watts.

Wesson Represented

Macie Case in girls singles, and Brady Knight and AnsleySchimmel in mixed doubles will represent the Wesson Cobras in the2A state tourney. They are coached by Tammy Newman.

BA Seeks Title Defense

The Brookhaven Academy Cougars are defending state champions inMPSA Class AA. Both the boys and girls teams swept last year’stitles. They are fresh from winning the South State AA crowns.

Coached by Alan Taylor. the BA teams have advanced in everycategory except mixed doubles. Representing BA Wednesday atRidgeland are Dudley Lampton in No. 1 boys singles, Will Hickman inNo. 2 boys singles, Rosemary Moak in No. 1 girls singles, SydneyMoak in No. 2 girls singles, Austin Watts and Michael Wilson in No.1 boys doubles, Jake Baker and Myles Melancon in No. 2 boysdoubles, Nicole Smith and Sarah Taylor in No. 1 girls doubles andEmily Ryan and Terah Winborne in No. 2 girls doubles.