ALTAMONTE SPRINGS — After a long two days of competing in the Class 3A team tennis tournament, Barron Collier’s Reid Carleton and Erik Corace were in no mood for working overtime.
The Cougars’ No. 1 doubles tandem easily defeated Fort Lauderdale’s team of Derek Madon and Matthew Rock for the overall doubles title. Carleton and Corace won, 6-1, 6-1, in a match that lasted about 50 minutes. The win was the second-ever overall doubles title in school history. Co-coach Tyler Manring and Kristian McGrath teamed up for the first in 1997.
“It’s pretty cool to know your picture is going to be hanging up in the gym for years to come,” Corace said. “We played a solid match and didn’t make too many mistakes. It’s a nice way to end the week.”
For Carleton, the win was especially satisfying given his frustrating three-set loss to St. Thomas Aquinas’ Brennan Boyajian in the team singles final the day before.
“I wasn’t about to lose another one,” Carleton said. “It’s been a good season and I’m looking forward to next year. Our team should be just as good or better.”
Carelton and Corace lost the first game of the match, but reeled off eight straight games to take control.
“We had a little bit of a scouting report on those guys from St. Thomas Aquinas,” Cougar co-coach Eric Manring said. “Fort Lauderdale is in their district, so they knew about them. But really, I don’t have to tell Reid or Erik too much out there. They know what they’re doing and they just took control of the match.”
Eric Manring says the Cougars’ program is now to the point where it expects to win at all times, and he looks forward to next year’s team with the hopes Barron Collier can get the three-peat.
“You know, this year was a different feeling for the team than last year,” he said. “Last year, it really came down to the wire and we were very excited to pull it out and win. This year was different. The guys expected to win it and they went out and took care of business. I’m not saying it’s less satisfying, it’s just a different feeling.”
Corace and Carleton return for their senior season next year. Also back is No. 4 singles player Jonathan Drew. The Cougars lose a pair of quality seniors in David Irvin and Charles Johnson, but Barron Collier will add Carleton’s younger brother, Tripper, and Carlitos Perez, a promising freshman.
“David and Charles will be missed, they’ve helped our program tremendously,” Manring said. “But I have confidence that our new guys coming in will make an impact and help get us here again.”