Huge field for invitational

By Kevin Eckleberry

March 11, 2014

In 2003, there were 80 teams participating in the Granger Invitational tennis tournament.

It was a monumental undertaking, and after it was over, LaGrange tennis coach Kenny Moore said “after that year, I said, I’m not going to do that ever again.”

In the ensuing years, there were fewer and fewer teams.

“We really scaled back after 2003,” Moore said.

As Moore began preparing for this year’s Granger Invitational, though, he decided he was ready to open things up once again and expand the field.

So when this year’s tournament gets under way on Friday, there will be 40 schools and 80 combined girls and boys teams competing.

“In 10 years, communication is so much better, and we have so much parent support,” Moore said. “We had wonderful parents then, but I didn’t use them like I should have. We’ve pretty well got it organized.”

Moore said “this is the first time where we’ve had to turn teams away. We just can’t expand and have another draw.”

The two-day tournament will span five different counties, and even two states this year.

For the first time, the Valley (Ala.) Sportsplex will serve as a tournament host.

“They have been so nice, and friendly, and wanting us to use their facility,” Moore said of the folks in Valley.

Tennis courts will also be used in Troup County, Heard County, Harris County and Meriwether County.

In Troup County, matches will be played at the McCluskey Tennis Center, LaGrange College, Troup High and Callaway High.

The teams will be divided into three divisions.

Both LaGrange High teams will be in Division II, and the Callaway girls team will be Division III.

The LaGrange boys’ team opens its tournament stay on Friday at 3:45 against Westover, and the LaGrange girls will play Union Grove at 2 p.m.

LaGrange’s teams will play at the McCluskey Tennis Center.

Callaway’s girls’ team will face Dunwoody at 3 p.m., and the match will be at Callaway.