Viking senior wins fourth CFVC tennis title
Union Pines senior John Dangerfield completed not just a perfect season winning the Cape Fear Valley Conference singles championship on Thursday, he won his fourth conference championship and finished an undefeated four-year career in the CFVC, with a 10-1 victory over teammate Jordan Allen.
It was an all-Viking finale in both championship matches. In doubles, Dylan Dinkins and Ben Williams beat Viking teammates Adam Howard and Matt Lorenz 10-5.
Viking head coach John Frye, who's coached Viking tennis for more than four decades and is a N.C. High School Athletic Association hall of famer, was put in the position of coaching both Dangerfield and Allen during a changeover. The three huddled with the chain-link fence between players and coach with Frye talking to both his charges. So much for coaching secrets.
Dangerfield hit powerful groundstrokes all match long against Allen, making Allen do most of the running along, or well beyond the baseline, on most points.
The Viking team continues its season together in the NCHSAA 3A Dual Team State Tournament. Union Pines (15-0 overall) will host Western Alamance in the first round Tuesday at 4 p.m.
"We feel good," Frye said, "the kids are all hitting the ball with pace and are playing with confidence."
"I think everyone's hitting their peak at the right time and they've been playing better and better in recent weeks," he said.
Dangerfield closed his Cape Fear Valley career making conference and Viking program history. He tied a Union Pines place in history only held by Coach Frye's son, Jay, as the only Vikings to win four conference singles championships.
Dangerfield comes from fine tennis stock as well, Frye said, as his father was an excellent all-around athlete, including a tennis player, at North Moore.
More to the young Dangerfield's credit though, "he has such a desire to get better every day," Frye said.
Dangerfield is looking at playing collegiately and Frye said he's looking closest at Methodist University.
All of the Viking finalists will be playing in the NCHSAA 3A Mideast Individual Regional Championships in Burlington next Friday.
Southern Lee will have a three-player contingent playing in Burlington as well, which pleases Cavalier head coach Rob Newman.
Sophomore Luke Foushee earned his second trip to the regional tournament by reaching the semifinals.
Foushee got by Joe San Nicolas of Overhills in an 8-6 match in the quarterfinals Wednesday night, then fell 10-1 to Allen in the semifinals Thursday.
"He feels he didn't play well today," Newman said, "but I say he played well. He just ran into such a good player, but that's how much he loves the game."
The Cavalier doubles team of Jay Randolph and Sevryn Schaller prevailed in the match for fifth place, the last spot qualifying for regionals, winning 10-5.
"It's really great considering this is their first year of organized tennis. To finish fifth in the conference is great," Newman said.
Randolph, a sophomore, and Schaller, a freshman, are part of a Cavalier team which didn't have a senior this season, which also makes the Cav coach excited for next week and beyond.
"For Sevryn and Jay, this is just huge," Newman said. "They're really picked it up late in the season."
Newman's thrilled his three Cavs will gain experience from playing in Burlington next Friday. Along with battling to advance, he wants the regional berths to be positive for the whole Cavalier team.
Foushee, while a sophomore, is a leader who helps everyone on the team, Newman said.
"Luke's my manager with the girls team and helps a lot out there, too," he said.
Win or lose, Newman hopes having three Cavs make regionals will create more motivation and energy for the whole team.
"I want to take a bus (to regionals) next year. Right now, we're still taking my car," Newman said.
The regional championships will start next Friday at 2 p.m. at the Burlington Tennis Center.