PUEBLO - Making history is a step-by-step process. After all, Rome wasn't built in a single day. For Erie boys tennis, history was made last week when two positions qualified for the Class 4A state tournament at Pueblo City Park.
Until that happened, the Tigers had never qualified even a single position. Winning a match in the championship bracket, however, will have to be the next step in the process. It didn't happen on Thursday and thus, won't happen until at least 2018.
The No. 1 doubles team of Trevor Winterton and Nash Phillips lost to Dawson's Gavyn Pure and Finn Jones 6-1, 6-1. The Mustangs made it a clean sweep on the day as the No. 2 doubles team of Phil Geraghty and Sam Troughton beat Erie's other state qualifiers Alex Ailey and Derek Sorenson 6-0, 6-1.
Chalk up the experience of playing at state as a lesson of what happens when the top teams and the top players gather in one location.
"People at state are really good," Sorenson said. "You can get here if you work hard enough and if you continue working hard enough, you can win. Especially teams like Dawson. They've been playing their whole lives, so they're good enough to beat us. I'm hoping I can be good enough next year and the year after to start winning matches at state."
Both Dawson teams lost in the quarterfinals meaning the state tournament for Erie was just a one-day affair. But every growing program needs that milestone. The Tigers may not have inflicted much damage in their short appearance at state, but now that they've made it once, they know they can do it again.
"It was very important because it boosts confidence, that's probably the biggest thing," Sorenson said. "Now Erie knows it can make it to state. It's a big confidence boost."
In the team race, it's Niwot who put itself in the best position, coming away third overall after the first day. There is still a lot of work to be done if a young Cougars team wants to bring some hardware home.
"We want to do well now," coach Mikka Keronen said. "We'll evaluate things at the end of the day and we'll see how many points are on the table for us."
The signs of youth are showing with the Cougars. Freshman Neil Wilcox won his first match in No. 1 singles, but fell to Discovery Canyon's Nick Lorenz who is a favorite to contend for that championship.
If Lorenz advances to the finals, Wilcox will make it to the playback brackets, but until then he just plans on being a supportive teammate.
"I just have to cheer on my team and make sure they do well," he said.
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Class 4A state tournament
At Pueblo City Park
Team Scores — Kent Denver 21, Colorado Academy 21, Niwot 15, Cheyenne Mountain 13, Valor Christian 8, Dawson 7, Aspen 6, Discovery Canyon 4, D'Evelyn 4, Peak to Peak 3, Silver Creek 1, Longmont 0, Erie 0.
Dawson School results — No. 1 Singles - Richter Jordaan (Colorado Academy) def. Riley Burridge 6-1 6-0; No. 2 Singles - Carter Holbrook def. Conner Compbell (Air Academy) 6-3 6-1; No. 3 Singles - Connor Larson def. Ishan Kumar (Peak to Peak) 6-0 6-1; No. 1 Doubles - Gavyn Pure/Finn Jones def. Trevor Winterton/Nash Phillips (Erie) 6-1 6-0; Pure/Jones 3-6 6-1 6-3; No. 2 Doubles - Phil Geragthy/Sam Troughton def. Alex Ailey/Derek Sorenson (Erie) 6-0 6-1; Geragthy/Troughton; No 3. Doubles - Ryan Oliver/Jordy Grant-Krenz def. Dylan DeGraff/Liam Sunkel (Aspen) 6-4 6-3; Oliver/ Grant-Krenz.
Erie results — No. 1 Doubles - Gavyn Pure/Finn Jones (Dawson) def. Trevor Winterton/Nash Phillips 6-1 6-0; Pure/Jones 3-6 6-1 6-3; No. 2 Doubles - Phil Geragthy/Sam Troughton (Dawson) def. Alex Ailey/Derek Sorenson 6-0 6-1; Geragthy/Troughton.
Longmont results — No. 2 Singles - Laird Stewart (Kent Denver) def. Calvin Seamons 6-2 6-4; No. 3 Doubles - Zach Brinker/Emmett Ela (Colorado Academy) def. Cory Byrne/Jimmy McConahy 6-1 6-0.
Niwot results— No. 1 Singles - Neil Wilcox def. Dario Alcala (Pueblo Central) 6-1, 6-0, Nick Lorenz (Discovery Canyon) def. Wilcox 6-0, 6-4; No. 2 Singles - Riley Black def. Paul Jones (Cheyenne Mountain) 6-3, 6-0, Black def. Chapin Schott (Valor Christian) 6-4, 6-4; No. 3 Singles - Manas Sani def. Ben Rowland (Lewis-Palmer) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, Christian Ridings (Cheyenne Mountain) def. Sani 6-1, 6-3; No. 1 doubles - Sam Keronen/Riley Mulshine def. Justin Thompson/Zach Shepherd (Silver Creek) 6-3, 6-2, Keronen/Mulshine def. Carter Morrill/Konrad Ladow (Evergreen) 6-0, 6-1; No. 2 Doubles - Patrick Xiao/Sam Bickham def. Dylan Miller/Cole Johnson (Pueblo Central) 6-1, 6-0, Xiao/Bickham def. George Ghali/Christian Kelly (Aspen) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3; No. 3 Doubles - Anton Lavrouk/Xavier Moy def. Ben Findlow/Brady Olitsky (Valor Christian) 6-4, 6-2, Lavrouk/Moy def. Spencer Aragon/Tyler Fletcher (Pueblo West) 6-1, 6-1; No. 4 Doubles - Jongwon Lee/Peter Lee def. Devin Ptrehn/Connor Ernst (Golden) 6-4, 6-1, Trent Beckman/Chris Tsai (Kent Denver) def. Lee/Lee 6-3, 7-5.
Peak to Peak results — No. 1 Singles - Brett Finan def. Tanner Colson (Lewis-Palmer) 6-2, 6-3, Finan def. Josh Voss, Air Academy 6-2, 6-2; No. 3 Singles - Connor Larson (Dawson School) def. Ishan Kumar 6-0, 6-1; No. 4 Doubles - Trent Beckman/Chris Tsai (Kent Denver) def. Alexander Preston/Daniel Rui 6-1, 6-1.
Silver Creek results — No. 1 Singles - Carter Logan (Valor Christian) def. Brandon Nelson 6-3, 6-4; No. 2 Singles - Ben Bicknell def. Wyatt Stempel (Steamboat Springs) 6-2, 6-0, Laird Stewart (Kent Denver) def. Bicknell 6-1, 6-2; No. 1 doubles - Sam Keronen/Riley Mulshine (Niwot) def. Justin Thompson/Zach Shepherd 6-3, 6-2.