Litchfield News

Shanks nets Class S tournament singles championship (06-01-19)


Litchfield's Charlie Shanks wears the Class S tennis tournament championship medal following his win over Drew Morris of St. Joseph-Trumbull on Friday. John McKenna photos

The Class S boys tennis tournament title belongs to Litchfield's Charlie Shanks.

Shanks completed his blitz through the tournament on by Friday by outlasting Drew Morris of St. Joseph-Trumbull, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, at Wesleyan University in Middletown. The Class S runner up in 2018, Shanks dropped the first set to Morris but battled back and eventually wore his opponent down with consistent play and superior fitness.

"I played another great opponent and I'm really happy I was able to come back and win it," Shanks said. 

The victory by Shanks capped Litchfield's second straight Class S tournament team title. The difference between 2018 and this season, however, was Shanks winning the final match. After closing out Morris, he was mobbed by the teammates he led all season. A few of his classmates were there to congratulate him as well.

"I think Charlie Shanks is the most remarkable athlete I've ever seen," Litchfield coach Dean Birdsall said. "He missed the second half of the season (with an ankle injury) and yet came back to win the Berkshire League tournament and now the Class S tournament. I couldn't be more proud of him."

Shanks defeated Morris in the tournament semifinals last year and hand his hands full after losing the first set. But he settled into his game in the second set and eventually wore Morris down with relentless ground strokes to the baseline.

Charlie Shanks slugs a forehand, above, and a two-handed backhand, below, in winning the title.

Charlie Shanks is congratulated by his coach Dean Birdsall, above, and is mobbed by teammates and classmates, below, after the match.

The champion with two of his three sisters, Annabelle, left, and Abigail.

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