Coy Simon is state champion in tennis
If you are only a casual fan of high school tennis in the Palmetto State and are wondering if the Philip Simmons Iron Horses boys’ tennis team is a one-hit wonder, wonder no more.
The Iron Horses, in only their second year of competition, won the Class AAA state team title over the weekend. The Iron Horses then put an exclamation point on their season on Tuesday as three Iron Horses reached the semifinals and earned all-state honors as they dominated the Class AAA-AA-A individual tournament.
The Iron Horses will return every player next year and should benefit from the addition of Stanley Walter, who had to sit out this season after transferring from Oceanside Collegiate.
Coy Simon led the way, winning the individual title with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Nic Loudermilk of St. Joseph. Simon’s teammate, Mitchell Deames finished third with a victory over another Iron Horse, Max Smith, in the consolation bracket.
The semifinals showed just how deep – and great – the Iron Horses are. Deames began Tuesday as the Iron Horses’ No. 4 player and ended the day as No. 3 in the state.
There was plenty to celebrate Tuesday night after the strong individual efforts at the individual state tournament. Coach Richard Schulz said 53 players, family members and fans attended the team’s banquet. Deames was named the team’s MVP at the banquet as Schulz toasted – and roasted – 15 of his 16 players. Carson Baker, who has the potential to play professional level, did not attend, but had a good excuse. He was headed out of town to play in a national tournament.
Simon, who has been an ambidextrous tennis player since he was 6 years old, hits a forehand with both his left hand and his right hand. He is at ease using either hand to serve and smash overheads. Loudermilk, who played Simon in the state team championships, never had a chance Tuesday in the individual title match.
“I was very generous Saturday when I said Loudermilk played really well,” Schulz said. “Tuesday, he played great but it wasn’t really close. Coy really stepped it up.”
“A lot of people ask me about him playing right- and left-handed,” Schulz continued of Simon. “I tell them he doesn’t do it for show. One day, he will do it for dough.”
The Iron Horses had four players in the 32-player individual bracket. J.D. Sutterlin was the fourth member, but he lost to Loudermilk in the opening round.
The only disappointment in the last week? Schulz was hoping to schedule either Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach or T.L. Hanna for next year. He said the schools said no thanks.
“It doesn’t look good when a big school loses to a Class AA school,” Schulz said.
Two players from Bishop England competed in the individual championships: Hector Romero and Zach Dacuba.
Romero lost in the second round to Simon while Dacuba lost to Smith in the second round.
Hanahan’s Mark Jones was the other Daniel Island area player in the event. He reached the third round where he lost to Smith.