A new classification means none of the usual trouble spots for the Beaufort High School boys tennis team in the playoffs.
Not that the Class 3-A bracket doesn't get tough, but the Eagles know the likes of Lexington won't be waiting for them as in past years in Class 4-A. Instead, Beaufort High faces some unknowns after defeating Darlington 5-1 in the first round Tuesday.
The Eagles travel to Wilson on Thursday, hoping to be carried by the depth that helped them to a split with Region 8-AAA rival Hilton Head Island High School during the season.
"All the teams are not familiar with us, so we kind of have an advantage," junior Alex Angus said.
Angus, Beaufort High's No. 1 singles player, was the individual region champion and earned a spot in the state singles tournament for a third time.
Angus continues to play a full schedule outside of high school. He won a tournament in Camden this past weekend and will compete in the Palmetto Championships in Belton later this month.
For now the focus is on a deep run. And Angus has some help.
Beaufort High coach David Riedmayer praised the play of Kam Olin at No. 5 singles and Quinton Paton at No. 4 to help provide strength throughout the lineup.
"This has probably been one of our better years," Riedmayer said. "We're pretty excited."
Class 3-A boys tennis playoffs
Beaufort High 5, Darlington 1
Singles: No. 1 Alex Angus (B) def. Austin Blackman 6-0, 6-0; Owen Stovall (B) def. Mark Barber 6-2, 6-0; Jack Louw (B) def. Chris Moore 6-2, 6-2; Quinton Paton (B) def. Avery Williamson 6-0, 6-1; Kam Olin (B) def. Clay Parker 6-1, 6-2.
Doubles: Ross Beasley/Jace Watford (D) def. Jaco Neimond/Merritt Patterson 6-2, 4-6, 10-5.
Follow assistant sports editor Stephen Fastenau at twitter.com/IPBG_Stephen.