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JB boys tennis on a 'magical ride'

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James Buchanan boys tennis coach Terri Beegle called her expectations for this season "much higher" than usual.

But when I asked her if that meant she expected to be 8-0 to start the season?

The simply answer: "No."

"I knew that we were going to be pretty good, and some things really had to fall into place," Beegle said. "They are falling into place. We had a big win against Palmyra, and a huge win against East Pennsboro. Those guys came to play, and it was one of the best high school matches to watch."

Heading into the latter half of the season, James Buchanan (8-0, 4-0 MPC) has yet to lose a match and is solidly in first place in the Mid Penn Colonial Division.

"We just wanted to come out and win what we could," JB No. 1 doubles player Josh Summers said. "Then we started getting on a roll, and here we are. We're a really confident group, and everyone is playing their own game well."

The Rockets started the year with a pair of non-league victories, but it wasn't until the third match of the season - when they took down defending division champion, Palmyra - that they really started to turn heads.

They then earned back-to-back 5-0 victories before taking down East Pennsboro in a hard-fought, 3-2 win.

"After that, it was like, 'Wow, if we beat them, we can beat anybody if we come to play,'" JB No. 3 singles player Hunter Sowers said. "Isaac Shenton did a great job (at No. 2 singles), and the No. 1 doubles team got a big win to help us win that."

Sowers and the No. 1 doubles team of Summers and Micah Wise are also riding personal undefeated streaks.

"It's different from last year, because Micah is working on his back game right now," said Summers, who won the Mid Penn doubles title last year with Shenton. "Today (against Middletown), he did a really good job up front. It's been pretty fast getting used to playing together, because I play basketball with him so the chemistry was already there."

Beegle said, "Micah Wise has been a pleasant surprise; he's really, really improved. Josh and Micah just gotta get some more practice time in, and they'll be solid - they're already pretty solid now."

The Rockets haven't counted their chickens just yet, though. They still have to face Camp Hill and Bishop McDevitt in Colonial Division action before going through league teams for the second time around.

Beegle said her main job through the latter half of the season is making sure the boys stay focus, but they can't help but enjoy themselves a bit.

"We wanted to have a good season and qualify for districts, and we're sitting in a good position, but we have a lot of season left and a lot of things can happen," Beegle said. "The more you win, the more excited you get, and right now, it's just a magical ride for these guys."