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Palmetto Christian tennis aiming for strong finish

  • Sunday, March 23, 2014

Senior Austin Heinz leads the Eagles with an undefeated record at No. 1 this season. FRANKIE MANSFIELD

If you want to be the best, you've got to beat the best. The Palmetto Christian Academy Eagles boys tennis team is going through this process early in the 2014 season.

Palmetto Christian (2-3) has gone up against some tough competition already this season, including Porter-Gaud, Wando and Charleston Collegiate, all larger schools.

Palmetto Christian head coach Dewey Caulder is hoping that playing tougher competition early will help his team come playoffs. He says he's excited about the development of the talent the Eagles have on the court, including senior Austin Heinz and sixth-grader Luke Prendergast.

Heinz is senior who's drawing interest from several colleges, including Division I programs. He plays with a calm poise and is excellent at capitalizing on his opponents mistakes and has yet to lose a match this season. He's known for winning big without trash talking or yelling. By now, he's used to it. Heinz has been part of six state championships throughout his high school career and was named to the All-Lowcountry tennis team last season.

Prendergast is an incredible young talent and already the No. 2 seed on the Eagles' ladder. The sixth-grader plays beyond his age on the court and has incredible power despite his smaller stature. Still young, he's already comfortable playing against top talent. Caulder expects Prendergast's experience playing in national tournaments will pay dividends throughout the season and into the playoffs.

The Eagles wrapped up their home schedule with a win over James Island. They'll close out the regular season with six straight road matches, including trips to Porter-Gaud, Academic Magnet and Bishop England.

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