Fitzpatrick, Cuddington earn all-state accolades
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 15, 2012 1:49 PM
BURLINGTON -- Conference and regional champions Chaz Fitzpatrick and Dylan Cuddington each earned all-state accolades due to top-four finishes in the season-ending, N.C. High School Athletic Association men's singles tennis championships.
Fitzpatrick, a three-time eastern regional champion, started his state-title quest with a 6-0, 6-0 whitewash of Cardinal Gibbons' Pierce Beary in opening-round play. The Eastern Wayne junior followed that with a grinding 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 injury-filled triumph over Joseph Hatala of Marvin Ridge in the quarterfinals. Fitzpatrick avenged a loss to Hatala one year ago, but also suffered an ankle injury.
In the semifinals, Fitzpatrick dropped a 6-1, 6-0 decision to Cardinal Gibbons' Matt Daly. Daly lost to Charlotte Catholic's Kyle Johnson in the finals and Johnson became the first-ever, four-time 3-A singles state champion in NCHSAA history.
Fitzpatrick concluded the year 24-1 overall and carries a 100-14 record into his senior season.
Fellow Warrior Russell Turner upended Union Pines' Johnathan Dangerfield 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-3 in their opening match. Johnson eliminated Turner 7-5, 6-1 in second-round play. Turner, who won the 1-A singles championship as a junior, finished with an 81-19 singles record during his prep career.
At Cary, Cuddington received an opening-round walkover in the opening round of the 1-A state singles tournament. The Rosewood sophomore endured his first loss in 19 outings this season with a 6-3, 6-1 defeat against Hendersonville's Jacob Fuqua in the semifinals.