Pope John Paul II tennis coach Julie Champagne has seen it all during her 27 years as the Jaguars for tennis coach.
Last season, the Jaguars boys ‘team fell to Christ Episcopal at the Division 4-IV Regional Meet by half a point, but Pope turned the tables this season to earn the boys’ regional championship at the Coquille Tennis Center on April 12.
“It was definitely a team effort for the boys,” Champagne said. “It took every single match. Christ Episcopal gave us a huge challenge, but we were able to come out on top by half a point. Last year, we missed it by half a point, so it was nice to get the title this year. ”
Pope won regional titles in 2018 and 2019 before the regional was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Christ Episcopal took the title last season.
Six Pope doubles players qualified for the state tournament, including Lincoln and Henley Oertling, Brenden Kuzminski and Thomas Meguess, and Aidan Combs and Adam Roy.
Dylan Burdett and Kai Harrison of The Christ Episcopal Team knocked off the regional doubles champion after the Oertling brothers, who only had two games to drop before this season. Two Northlake doubles teams – Rhett Bernard and Jason Hayden, along with Andrew Beshenich and Hayes Domangue – also qualified for the state tournament.
In singles competition, Christ Episcopal’s Benjamin Chandler finished runner-up to St. Three sets in Martin’s Patrick LaForge. Northlake’s Francisco Gonzalez-Hernandez also qualified for the state tournament.
On the girls’ side, Christ Episcopal finished second to half a point by McGehee. The Jaguars were the third.
Christ Episcopal’s Brooke Powers took home the singles title with a win over First Baptist Christian’s Madison Scharfenstein in an All St. Tammany final. Northlake’s Sophie Cramond and Christ Episcopal’s Reagan Daskalova also qualified for the state tournament.
Four Pope doubles players qualified for the state tournament, including Jessica Champagne and Kathryn Mayeaux, along with Alex Bremond and Madison Lin.
Camille Cambre and Alexis Fell of The Christ Episcopal Team doubles up in the finished second.
“It was a long two days with rain delays, but I was proud of how everyone competed,” Champagne said. “These seniors were excited to finish regional champs in their last year. I am so proud of their true commitment to the PJP tennis team. ”
The LHSAA State Tennis Tournament will be held in Monroe on April 25-29.