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Warren-Driskell capture No. 1 girls doubles in state team test

RIDGELAND — Brookhaven High School has had one of the mostsuccessful tennis programs in Mississippi for the past threedecades and it continued that tradition this season.

Brookhaven finished with a 12-3 record and Class 4A runner-upafter a 6-1 loss Monday morning to defending state champion Oxfordin the second annual Mississippi High School Activities AssociationTeam Tournament here at Ridgeland Tennis Center.

Brookhaven’s only win Monday came in No. 1 girls doubles asseniors Lydia Warren and Hannah Driskell defeated Oxford’s ErinDyer and Emilee Smith 6-4, 6-2 to finish the season undefeated. Noother Brookhaven team won a set against powerful Oxford, which haswon 87 consecutive matches and finished 20-0 for the secondstraight season.

Warren’s mother, Amanda Elliott Warren, was there to cheer herdaughter on Monday and it brought back memories of when she playedfor Brookhaven.

“It made me think back to those days when we were playing highschool tennis for Coach Betsy Smith,” said Amanda, who along withher sister, Meg, won Brookhaven’s first state championship whenAmanda was in the seventh grade. Amanda graduated in 1981.

“Our (husband Brooks and Amanda) son (Elliott Warren) won achampionship when he was a ninth grader (in 2003, led by four-timestate champion Stuart Misner and his father, coach and teaching proDavid Misner) and I was hoping we might make it three in familywith Lydia. She played well today and we are proud of her.”

Amanda wasn’t the only parent who was a former player with achild on this year’s team. Chad Oberschimdt, who played on Amanda’steam and also finished in ’81, watched his son, Ruffin, a freshman,play No. 1 boys doubles with freshman Brooks Foster.

“It was fun to watch Ruffin play this season and playing in thestate tournament brought back memories of when I played,” Chadsaid. “Brookhaven has had a good team for a long time. We have agreat core group of parents who care about tennis and have passedalong the importance of the sport of our kids. They started whenthey were young and have developed into good players.”

“My mom still plays tennis and I started playing when I was 10,”Lydia said. “My brother played a lot of tournament tennis so Ifigured I might as well start playing, too. My grandfather (JimElliott, Amanda’s father) enjoys tennis and was here today,watching our matches. He is a big supporter of our team.”

“We have parents who play tennis and encourage their children toplay, plus we have great facilities at Brookhill and BrookhavenCountry Club,” said third-year Brookhaven coach Terri Smith Hall,who played basketball for Brookhaven in the late 1970s.

She and her assistant, Jessica Dowd, led the their team deepinto the playoffs with a team made up of four seniors (LydiaWarren, Hannah Driskell, Scott Warnock and LaKenya Kelly), sixjuniors (John Calcote, Carl Case, Allison Boyd, Amanda Moak, AlexLea and Meredith Jacobs) and four freshman (Ruffin Oberschimdt,Brooks Foster, Emily Lowery and Braxton Hinton).

Said Hall: “They believed in themselves all year, but theyrealized we had a pretty good team when we beat Long Beach, WestJones and St. Stanislaus in the playoffs.”

Individual Results

In Monday afternoon’s individual competition, Driskell andWarren produced more success as they defeated at team from Laurel6-2, 6-1. They’ll play Oxford today in the semifinals but CoachHall said it wouldn’t be the same girls they faced in the teamcompetition.

BHS also competed in No. 2 girls doubles but lost 7-5, 6-7, 6-3to Pontotoc.