2014 Chattanooga Rotary Tennis: Baylor Girls Look to 4-Peat

Rotary is Friday and Saturday

Thursday, April 03, 2014 - by B.B. Branton
Baylor Seniors (l-r) McCall Morgan, Samantha Caswell, Harper Caswell and Maggie Crumbliss have led the Red Raiders to three Rotary and state team titles.
Baylor Seniors (l-r) McCall Morgan, Samantha Caswell, Harper Caswell and Maggie Crumbliss have led the Red Raiders to three Rotary and state team titles.
- photo by Wesley Schultz

It seems only yesterday they were energetic Baylor eighth graders with loads of tennis potential.

Today, these prep tennis veterans are two months from the end of their high school careers and have definitely lived up to their potential.

The foursome – Samantha and Harper Caswell, Maggie Crumbliss and McCall Morgan – have led the Baylor girls tennis team to nine major championships – three each of Chattanooga Rotary, TSSAA state and DecoTurf - with two more in sight, one of which is this weekend’s 58th annual Chattanooga Rotary tourney.

All four players point to their close friendship as a key to their success.

“One major key to our success for five years is that we are best friends,” said defending Rotary No.1 and state singles champion Samantha Caswell who has signed tennis scholarship papers with UTC.

“We are really close,” stated her twin sister Harper who has earned a guaranteed preferred walk-on spot at Furman for next year.

Morgan noted that “when we were eighth graders we were just excited to get to the state tournament (runner-up in 2010 to GPS), but after that we set our sights on winning it all.

”We have been the team leaders since the ninth grade and each year we let the younger players know what we expect as far as our team goals.”

And the Red Raiders have just about done that winning three of four state finals, three of four DecoTurf finals and three of four Rotary events.

Comparing this era of Baylor tennis to other schools from previous years is difficult, but the Baylor girls definitely have left their mark on the Rotary and state tournaments and have earned the right to have  their names alongside the great teams from Marist, GPS, Oak Ridge, St. Mary's and Vestavia Hills as well as past Baylor teams.

“I think our strong conditioning and talented players from one to 13 are huge keys to this team’s success,” said Baylor girls coach Dustin Kane.

“After winning the state as ninth graders we knew we wanted to make it four straight,” Crumbliss stated.

With a fourth title this weekend and another at Spring Fling in late May and their goals of a 4-Peat will have been achieved.

2014 Rotary Schedule

Friday:  First Singles Matches Start at 8:30 a.m. - The Boys and Girls A Division will be at Baylor, while the Girls B will be at GPS and Boys B at McCallie.

Team and Individual titles should be determined by late Saturday afternoon.

Chattanooga teams: GPS, McCallie, Baylor (boys and girls), Hixson (boys), Chattanooga Christian (girls), Signal Mountain (boys and girls).

2014 Rotary Top Seeds

Boys A: Defending champion St. Xavier has four of the six top singles seeds …  No.1 (Brandon Lancaster), No.3 (Nick Waldeck), No.5 (Coleman Cox) and N.6 (Nick Quinones) … The Tigers also hold the top spot in all three doubles flights.

McCallie has top seeds in Turner Voges (No.2) and Luke Orthner (No.4).

Girls A: Three-time defending champion Baylor has three top seeds … No.1 (Samantha Caswell), No.4 (Morgan McCall) and No.5 (Drew Haskins).

St.Mary’s has the top seed in the No.2 flight (Mary Jane McCaghren), while Emma Alsup of Harpeth Hall leads the No.3 flight and McKenna Garneau of McCracken (Ky.) is on the top line in the No.6 flight.

In doubles, Baylor is on the top line at Nos.1 & 3 while GPS had the top seed at No.2.

A Division Championships

Boys - Baylor (30), McCallie (16), Westminster (5), MBA (4), Greenville, S.C., (3), St. Xavier (Ky., 3), Meridian (Miss., 1), McGill (Ala., 1), Belton (S.C., 1), Mountain Brook (Ala., 1), Christ Church Episcopal (S.C., 1) … totals include the high school division winners, 1957-1972 and years with co-winners.

Consecutive Titles: 10 – Baylor (1980-1989) … 9 - Baylor (1966-74) ... 3 - Westminster (1959-60-61), McCallie (1963-64-65; 1975-76-77), Baylor (1991-92-93)

Girls - GPS (13), Baylor (10), Marist (8), Harpeth Hall (5) Westminster (3), Mountain Brook (Ala., 2), Webb (2), Vestavia Hills (2), Greenville (S.C., 1), Lone Oak (Ky., 1)

Most Singles Titles: Boys (6) – Zan Guerry (Baylor; 1962-67)

Girls (3) - Shannon McCarthy (Marist, 1985, 1987-88), Audra Brannon (Hixson, 1988-89-90 - in “B'' Division)

Chattanooga Rotary History

Name: Originally tabbed as the Chattanooga Rotary and the Southern Interscholastic Tennis Championship … it was later called the Southern Prep Rotary Tournament ... the Chattanooga Rotary has sponsored the event from the start … the late Alex Guerry was the first tournament director followed by, among others, Tommy Bartlett, Joe King, John Guerry, Wig Robinson, Cindy Kemp Battle, Bob Lyons, Lee Murray and now Jack Webb and Ward Nelson.

First Year: In 1957, the first tournament had a prep school division and a high school division, won by McCallie and Meridian (Miss.), respectively … 15 teams from six Southern states – Tenn., Ga., Miss., Ala., La. And Ky.

First Champs: In the prep division, McCallie's Hugh O. Maclellan won the No.1 singles title and teamed with Charlie Moore for the doubles crown ... Ernest Cox (McGill H.S. in Mobile, Ala.) won the high school singles title, while Meridian's Johnny McQuann and Philip George were the best in doubles.

Three Generations of Maclellans: Hugh won the first title in 1957 ... daughter, Elizabeth Maclellan,was runner-up at No.2 singles in 2001 for Chattanooga Christian ... Hugh's granddaughter, Hannah Maclellan, is in this year's tournament and playing No.1 singles for Harpeth Hall. She won the consolation finals at No.2 singles in 2013. 

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


Prep Football Scores: Week Zero

Email your game scores to: sports@chattanoogan.com WEEK ZERO: THURSDAY FINALS McCallie 44 Cleveland 0 Marion County 49 Grundy County 22 FRIDAY FINALS: CCS 62 Grace 0 Ooltewah 58 Brainerd 12 Baylor 51 Howard 6 Bradley 21 Polk County 6 Silverdale 35 Lookout Valley 16 Signal Mountain 28 East Hamilton 19 Central 16 Franklin County ... (click for more)

CCS Earns 62-0 Win Over Grace In Season Opener

The "Coach Spence" era started with a bang Friday night as the Chargers of Chattanooga Christian drenched Grace  62-0 while amassing 417 rushing yards.    Junior tailback D.J. Toney scored three of the Charger touchdowns on just eight carries. He had 134 rushing yards.  Senior quarterback Zach Mercer had 98 yards rushing on three carries, scoring on an ... (click for more)

Jury Finds In Favor Of Texas Sheriff In Suit Brought By Chattanooga Photographer

A Federal Court jury on Friday found in favor of a Texas sheriff and his chief deputy who had been sued by a Chattanooga photographer. The jury in the courtroom of Judge Curtis Collier awarded no damages to Donna Johnson. In his closing argument after a two-week civil trial, attorney John Anderson said, "This is about the Fourth Amendment." Attorney Anderson represented Ms. ... (click for more)

Justin Wilkins Selected As Deputy Chief Of Staff For Mayor Berke

Native Chattanoogan Justin Wilkins will serve as Mayor Andy Berke's deputy chief of staff, it was announced Friday. Mr. Wilkins has spent the last several years serving as the Tennessee state director for multiple advocacy and electoral organizations, including Organizing for America and Organizing for Action. Prior to that, he worked as project manager at Profit Plans LLC ... (click for more)

Mackey Should Be Thankful For The State Troopers On Highway 153

This is in response to a statement made by Warren Mackey at the commission meeting.  His question was to the mayor regarding the state troopers writing tickets on Highway 153, saying they were on a rampage.   It is apparent that Mr. Mackey doesn’t travel this highway.  His only concern was that the ticket money was going into state funds and not into county funds. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Must-Read For Parents

If you have a child or if you love one, what you are about to read could be one of the most important lessons in your life. I have a great friend in Dallas – Sandy Pohfal – who regularly shares stories with me that are moving, inspirational or important. This is all three. This story was written by a celebrated author, Christie Craig. She has written hundreds of articles for ... (click for more)