Chad Allender and Ryan Good have been buddies since their pre-school days. In fact, at Saturday's District 6 Tennis Doubles Championships, there was a picture floating around of the two playing tennis as 5 year-olds.
Now juniors at Altoona Area High School, they've maintained their friendship through the years and are teammates on the AAHS tennis and soccer teams.
As the top two singles players for the Mountain Lion tennis team, they seldom get to team up in a doubles match. However, they did this weekend and captured the D6 Class AAA doubles title at the Leopold Tennis Complex.
The duo claimed the championship Saturday morning by sweeping past Matt Wherley and Sam Wherley of State College, 6-2, 6-1.
"They had a great tournament overall," Altoona coach Eric Hovan said after the finals. "They only lost a handful of games the entire tournament.
"They had a great week of practice and it carried over to the tournament."
Allender and Good dominated from the get-go Saturday by winning the first three games of the first set. After the Wherley brothers broke through in the fourth game, Allender and Good won three of the next four to take the first set.
It was much of the same in the second set. The teams split the first two games before the Lion duo ran off the next five in a row to wrap it up.
"The weather wasn't much of a factor," Allender said of the cool, breezy conditions. "Ryan and I had one goal in mind and that was to make it to states."
The victory locked up an automatic berth in the PIAA State Tournament which will be played at the Hershey Racquet Club beginning May 23.
"We've only been playing [as a team] this week," Good said. "We've been friends since pre-school and we've played together since we've been 5, but we've only played together a couple times in high school."
Last year, as sophomores, Allender and Good teamed up for the district doubles and advanced to the semifinals before being eliminated.
"It was good to get one [championship medal] so I can show my brother," Allender said, laughing, noting that his brother, Josh, is a past district singles champion.
Allender and Good are both midfielders on the soccer team and that helps in tennis.
"Fitness wise, it helps," Allender said, "and communication is a key, too. Every sport, we seem to be in the same position so the communication helps."
"We didn't go to elementary school together, but we've known each other since we were 3 or 4," Good said, "and it's been fun."
The Class AA final was played at Leopold on Saturday, too, and the Bishop McCort team of Tyler Spotz and Luke DeFrancesco prevailed by beating Central Cambria's Josh Remillard and Christoff Trexler, 7-5, 6-4.