All-County Boys Tennis: Johnson, MB duo top list

The future looks bright for the sport of high school boys tennis on the Grand Strand, as this year’s My Horry News All-County Boys Tennis Players of the Year can attest.

Myrtle Beach High juniors Josh Wallen and John Edward Cahill were named Doubles Players of the Year and will return next season to make another run at a state title. They also had strong seasons as Nos. 1 and 2 singles players for the Seahawks, who made the third round of the Class 4A playoffs before a tough 4-3 loss to the state champions.

“We are very young, but we have some talented players and we all get along great,” said Wallen. “We all pulled together this season and helped each other get better.”

Socastee High senior and Singles Player of the Year Noah Johnson departs with a milestone career and a program on the rise following the tumultuous turnover this season. Despite losing five seniors off last year’s squad, Johnson was able to lead the Braves to the third round of the Class 5A playoffs and reach a career milestone.

“The fact that we were as successful as we were with so many new people is simply amazing,” Johnson said in a recent Athlete of the Week interview after capturing his 100th career victory in the first round of the playoffs.

Johnson defeated Wallen in an intense three-set tiebreaker, 4-6, 6-2, 10-8, in the only head-to-head meeting this season, although the Seahawks cruised to a 6-1 team win. The POY trio also earned the opportunity to compete in the Class 4A/5A state singles tournament, with Cahill earning all-state honors.

It’s a good omen for the Seahawks, who lose only one senior and no starters off this year’s team. They also have a veteran leader in Coach of the Year Rivers Lynch, who has 11 state championships as boys and girls coach at Myrtle Beach.

“I have two grandsons on the team, but I claim all these guys as my grandchildren,” Lynch said. “I’ve watched all of them grow up playing. It’s a great group of kids and each one contributes to the team in their own way. They keep me young.”

BOYS TENNIS

Singles Player of the Year – Noah Johnson, Socastee

Doubles POY – Josh Wallen/John Edward Cahill, Myrtle Beach

Coach of the Year – Rivers Lynch, Myrtle Beach

Carolina Forest – Kainen Leer

Christian Academy of MB – Braden McCauley

Myrtle Beach – Rivers Cahill

North Myrtle Beach – Jude Wilkey

Socastee – Robert Warstler

St. James – James Leonard

Photos by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews, Socastee Athletics

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