BY JEFF FALK
SOUTH LEBANON – A ‘racquet’ is a legitimate element. ‘Serving’ is a good thing. And ‘deuce’ explores the power of two, by representing players’ equality.
But ‘love’ means nothing?
On a gorgeous Saturday morning at Cedar Crest High School, the locale celebrated the game of tennis during the 25th annual contesting of the Lebanon County Boys’ Tennis Tournament. And after the competitors had gotten down to business and the dust had settled, Ben Clary won the battle and the war was declared a draw.
Clary, a junior from Palmyra, was crowned the Lebanon County individual champion after he defeated Cedar Crest’s Jack Muriaka, 6-1, 6-2 in the final match at Number One singles. On the team side of the competition, the Cougars and Falcons were declared co-champions when they tied for top honors with ten team points apiece.
Annville-Cleona, Elco and Lebanon High finished in a three-way tie for third place.
The Cougars repeated their team championship from a year ago, while yesterday marked the 17th time that the Falcons finished ahead of the pack.
“It’s nice for us, because we don’t play these schools during the regular season.” said Palmyra head coach Abbie Mahaffey. “With the strength of tennis in Lebanon County, it’s nice to be able to come out and have them all play together. I appreciate Cedar Crest stepping up and doing it every year.”
“I thought we had a really good shot at winning this year,” said Cedar Crest head coach Mike Rohrbach. “We added a couple of new players. Our expecations were to take that trophy back.”
“I’m happy, because we haven’t been know to win this,” said Clary. “Winning it back-to-back feels great. We wanted to do it for Palmyra.
“Jack was a tough opponent,” continued Clary. “I’m just glad I got it done. I didn’t have an idea what the scores would be. But I came in understanding that I can do it.”