Next week’s state championships for boys tennis will go on without the fanfare that typically greets the season’s final event, and in many ways that could make for an even more business-like approach for anyone who was fortunate to make it through the regional tournaments this past week.
For local championship contenders like Luke Silverman of Fairview and Neil Wilcox from Niwot, every ounce of focus must be hoarded for the two-day, single-elimination event if they want a chance to get back to the championship match. Others may not have the pressure attached to making the state field, and instead will be relying on loose play and fighting through the silence of their surroundings to make runs through their respective brackets.
The Class 5A tournament at Gates Tennis Center in Denver and the courts at Pueblo City Park will be filled with talented individuals, no doubt. And many of them will be representing BoCoPreps.com area schools. By school, here’s who has qualified and who did well enough at regionals to be listed as an alternate.
The Panthers had four regional runner-ups, including No. 3 singles player Nate Spillman, who will get a crack at a deep run as a senior. The top three doubles teams on their ladder, which include Ty Chandler/Ezra Doherty, Alex Sutherland/Agi Willis, and Danny Benjamin/Will Curl, also played well down at Heritage and will invade Gates in 5A. Singles players Jackson Lewis and Chase Lewis are alternates.
As expected, Cameron Lupo played well in 5A Region 8 — and his regional title should bode well in seeding with some of the competition that he’s faced. Perhaps a bit of a surprise was freshman Kai Trujillo’s regional title, but there’s no doubt he’ll be preparing hard this week for a state debut. The Eagles’ 1 and 3 doubles teams (Charlie Kuhna/Cameron Carlson and Gunner Christiansen/Holden Walker) are alternates.
The Warriors played well in the tough 4A Region 5, and Cole Spradlin and Ty Stroud gave the Warriors a duo to cheer for down in Pueblo with their finals appearance at 3 doubles. Alternates include Quinn Lew and Carter Hunter-Crump.
The Mustangs won their region up in Greeley and will have 10 members of the team competing at state. The Mustangs had five regional champs, including 2 singles player Tyler Burridge and all four doubles teams (Luke Orris/Ian McLeod, Wilson Miller/Alfie Whitemore, Ryan Orris/Toni Scheiber, Owen Leidich/George Shehan). With Kevin Patel also solid at No. 1 singles, a top-five team score in 4A is very much a possibility for Dawson.
The Knights won the Front Range League once again, cruised through a regional tournament at their own courts, and now have all 11 players to keep their goal of a state team title alive. FHS won regional titles at six positions, and Clayton Baldwin at 3 singles had his moments in a finals match against Jack Reuter of Monarch. Silverman and Brody Pinto have the talent to get to championship matches, while the doubles teams (Zak Chehadi/Jake Wicks, Owen Hushka/Isaac Christensen, Caden Bell/Dillon Tooman, Henry Burke/Andrew Yonan) have shown great chemistry all year.
Led by Danny O’Brien’s regional title at 2 singles this past week, the Longmont Trojans fulfilled a lot of expectations and got five positions in the brackets for Pueblo. Henry Matheson and Thomas Marshall each placed second in singles competition at Region 5, while experienced doubles teams Jimmy McConahy/Abenezer Keefer and Tristan Rangel/Oliver Seamons also appear to be playing great right now. The 4 doubles team of Eli Anderson/Andrew Brown are alternates.
Senior Jack Reuter has been rather dominant all year, and now is his time to shine at 3 singles after winning a regional title and gaining what could be a great seed in 5A. Seven MoHi players earned alternate status: Luke Jensen at 2 singles, and doubles teams David Katilus/Callum Conaghan, Brady Huber/Garrett Wimelbauer and Jay Byther/Devin Yamamoto.
Home cookin’ — Niwot won six of seven regional titles and will have all 11 members of the team at 4A state with a shot of winning the team championship. Wilcox, of course, is going for state title No. 2 at the top singles position, while several others are looking to use their past state experience to change their fortunes. Sam Keronen and Luke Weber complete the singles contingent, while doubles teams Lichen Liao/Ivan Calderon, Xavier Moy/Alan Wilcox, Reeves Moor/Maia Heather and Raaghav Agarwal/Ryan Gray will all hope to build the Cougars point total significantly.
Peak to Peak
A program typically heavy on state participants, the Pumas will have one group to cheer for in 2020 as a tough regional put them in an unusual position. The 4 doubles team of Owen Hinrichs/Caleb Harris will try and get as far as possible to get P2P some points. Ethan Harris/Kevin Ember are alternates at 3 doubles.
A handful of teams who didn’t qualify anyone still had players attain alternate status. Those include Legacy (David Tran, Anthony Scollo/Noah Klein), Prospect Ridge (Jackson Billings) and Silver Creek (Sean Kelly/Luke Graboski).