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    History made: Christ’s Church star Chase Healey nails down another tennis title

    Becomes first local player since 1923 to win back-to-back titles

    Christ's Church's Chase Healey, center, poses with friends after winning his second consecutive overall tennis championship on Wednesday. (Chase Healey)

    Chase Healey made it an unforgettable week at the high school state tennis tournament for local players.

    The junior at Christ’s Church and reigning All-News4JAX tennis player of the year won his second consecutive overall Class 1A state championship with a three-set thriller over Miami True North’s Dylan Chang, 4-6, 6-4, 10-7, on Wednesday at Sylvan Lake Park in Sanford.

    “In the second set we were just battling it out,” Healey said. “I could tell he was just a little more tired than I was and that’s where I found the confidence and will to win.”

    Healey’s history, coupled with Ponte Vedra’s team Class 3A state championship a day earlier in a grueling 4-3 victory over St. Petersburg, made it a spectacular outing for area players.

    In pulling off the rare double, Healey became just the second local boys tennis player in state history to win back-to-back titles. Only Duval’s George Yenawine in 1922-23 has won consecutive overall titles. Only six players in a history that dates back to 1922 have won three overall state championships. Healey could make that seven.

    “I definitely hope so,” Healey said of a shot at a threepeat in 2023. “Hopefully I’m healthy next year and still want to do it.”

    Healey breezed through his quarterfinal and semifinal matches on Tuesday, beating Master’s Academy’s Ryan Powell, 6-0, 6-0 and Carrollwood Day’s Aidan Gionis, 6-2, 6-0 to reach the individual final. Healey had little trouble there, beating No. 2 seed Matthew Hewitt of Clearwater Central Catholic, 6-3, 6-1.

    Healey needed everything he had to make history. Chang came back to win the opening set and had a jump on Healey in the second, a back-and-forth set that wound up breaking Healey’s way.

    “At the end of last year’s championship I went into a little bit of a slump,” Healey said. “I really trained hard at the beginning of the season with all my coaches. I knew I could get back here.”


    About the Author:

    Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.