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Off-season crucial to CHS netters' future success
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ROBERT LACKEY FINISHED WITH a 10-5 record for Camden this past season. He was one of a trio of seventh-graders on an 11-5 Bulldog squad.
Usually, the fruits of summer start out as seedlings in the spring.Roger Smoak is hoping to reverse Mother Nature’s course when it comes to the Camden High boys’ tennis team. For the first time since 2004, the Bulldogs saw their season come to an end in the regular season finale. While a win over rival Lugoff-Elgin left the Dogs with a sweet taste in their mouth, not making the AAA state playoffs was not the way Smoak would have scripted things.Playing in the tough Region 4-AAA --- in a circuit which included three-time defending state champion and 2013 runner-up Chapin along with on the rise programs such as A.C. Flora and Dreher --- Camden finished in a three-way tie for second with Flora getting the tie-breaker and advancing into the Upper State finals before falling to Chapin.For the Bulldogs to regain their place among the state’s elite, Smoak said his team must put in more work in June, July and August.“We didn’t have a good off-season last year,” said Smoak, the state’s winningest high school tennis coach with 584 victories at CHS. “It was the least that our kids had played and participated in tournaments.