Warner Creekmore would tell you she is living vicariously through her kids.
For the second time in three years, New Albany captured the 4A state championship in tennis, and for the coach, this is also the second time in three years she has won with one of her children.
In 2010, the team won its first title in the sport, led in part by Creekmore’s oldest child, Callie. Now, two years later, her son Josh and his mixed doubles partner, Maegan Trexler, won the title for the Bulldogs, going to a tiebreaker after splitting the first two sets.
“I’m just tickled for them. I’m living vicariously through them,” an emotional Creekmore said. “I’m beyond excited for them to have accomplished this and even more for them wanting me to be a part of it. That’s the biggest thing; they wanted me to be a part of it.”
New Albany went ahead three sets to zero over Newton County, well on its way to winning the title. Before they knew it, the Cougars picked up wins in girls’ singles and boys’ doubles one, and the final two courts remaining went to a deciding tiebreak after splitting the first two sets.
Creekmore and Trexler won the title, defeating Brandon St. Clair and Mackenzie Smith (6-2, 6-7 (10-5)), but for Trexler, she did not know that won the title for her team at that point.
“Even after we won, I didn’t realize that we had just won state until after we were off of the court,” she said. “It’s just great to have been a part of this again.”
Trexler was a member of the 2010 championship team, but for her partner, Creekmore choose to join this year, ending his athletic career at New Albany by playing for his mother.
“It really just came down to my senior year, wanting to play for my mom and wanted to help my teammates win a state championship,” he said. “We accomplished that today, and I give all of the credit to my teammates. They’ve pushed me so hard and have gotten me to this point, and I couldn’t have done this without them.”
In the final court, Christian and Christopher Scott fell to David Brand and Russ Thompson (6-1, 6-7 (9-11)), but at that point, the title was already won.
New Albany finishes the season at 16-1, undefeated in 4A play and north half champions. Creekmore credits the play of her seniors in helping bring another title to the school.
“They’ve been huge,” she said. “Cam’s been playing for five years, and so has Maegan. Savannah played and left, came back and chose to play again this year, Thomas moved in from Greenville, and that’s been a huge blessing for us, as he’s been a huge asset to our team, and Josh chose to play this year, and we couldn’t have done it without him.”
As the team celebrated, Creekmore looked on, tears streaming down her face, and described the scene around her in just four words.
“Amazing, just absolutely incredible.”
Also, on Tuesday, the girls’ doubles team of Molly Morris and Elleigh Hall finished second in the state in the 4A doubles tournament, falling to Lafayette in the championship.
2012 state tennis championship results
Boys singles: Mark Robbins (NA) over Will Thompson (NC) 6-1, 6-0
Girls singles: Shannon St. Clair (NC) over Savannah Horrgan (NA) 7-5, 6-0
Boys doubles one: Bryden Reed and Patrick Ross (NC) over Cam Clark and Thomas Mills (NA) 6-2, 7-6
Boys doubles two: David Brand and Russ Thompson (NC) over Christian Scott and Christopher Scott 1-6, 7-6 (11-9)
Girls doubles one: Molly Morris and Elleigh Hall (NA) over Haley Chapman and Mackenzie Rowzee (NC) 6-3, 6-2
Girls doubles two: Olivia Dunnam and Hannah Anderson (NA) over Kalye Bufkin and Summer Stockstill (NC) 6-2, 6-1
Mixed doubles: Josh Creekmore and Maegan Trexler (NA) over Brandon St. Clair and Mackenzie Smith (NC) 6-2, 6-7 (10-5)