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Falcons working to repeat
High school tennis notepad

Date published: 4/19/2011

The Fredericksburg Academy boys returned a solid nucleus from last year's Delaney Athletic Conference champions and are working to retain that title this year.

The Falcons (2-2, 2-0 DAC) graduated just one senior from last season's team that narrowly lost to eventual state champion Covenant School in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association semifinals.

Youngsters Fitzhugh Johnson and Jonathan Kepcke--both All-DAC first teamers last year--are back and have been important cogs in helping this year's team grow, according to coach John Garnett.

"It's been kind of a battle," Garnett said about his relatively inexperienced team. "A lot of the kids I have have a lot of heart, maybe not the experience yet.

"I think the guys have really come together to help everybody get better."

The team has already shown improvement. After an early-season loss to a strong Steward School team, the Falcons narrowly lost to the Spartans 5-4 in last week's rematch.

Garnett said he thinks the Falcons have a shot at repeating last year's DAC championship if things come together, but that the team has an eye on bigger things as well.

"We're going to be pretty close to winning it," he said, later adding: "It's really all about the rankings to get to go to the state tournament, though."

--Tom Leiss