Bonner Springs’ tennis season ends at 5A regional tournament
The Bonner Springs boys tennis team will not be represented at the Class 5A state tournament on Friday and Saturday at the Emporia High School tennis courts, but that doesn’t mean BSHS coach Bill Scott isn’t pleased with his team’s season.
On the contrary, Scott found plenty of reasons to celebrate the 2010 season.
Interest in the sport skyrocketed at the school to the point where Scott had to make cuts while still carrying extra players on the roster.
“We had a lot of brand new kids, and they really had fun and got better,” Scott said. “They were very dedicated and stayed that way all season. Many were sorry to see the season end so early.”
The Braves also saw many of their players with a year or two of prior experience develop into consistent varsity contributors. That gives Scott optimism that 2011 could be a breakout season.
Still, the Braves hoped to qualify a player or two for state.
Spencer Bush nearly made that happen in singles. A doubles player for most of the season, Scott entered Bush into the singles bracket at regionals believing it gave him a better chance of qualifying for state.
Bush cruised past Washington’s Chris Shelton in the first round, 6-0, 6-1, before running into eventual regional champion Chris Boschert of St. Thomas Aquinas. Boschert sent Bush into the consolation bracket where he met Mill Valley’s Culley Galloway in an elimination match. Galloway — the eventual fifth-place medalist at regionals — handed Bush a season-ending 6-0, 6-0 loss.
“At regionals, in hindsight, I think I might have been able to qualify a combo of Bush and (Jacob) Moulin (in doubles) if I would have been able to get them a good draw, a four or five seed,” Scott said. “But I knew I couldn’t do that this late because they had no record together, and you can’t seed anyone without at least five to 10 matches together. That is a good possibility for next year, though.”
Moulin also played singles at regionals, and he lost in the first round to eventual third-place finisher Steven Anthony of Bishop Miege.
In doubles, Cordell Duncan and Lucas Isaacs lost in the first round to a team from Pittsburg, 6-1, 6-1. Also in doubles, Jacob Slattery and Tyler Johnson fell in the first round to eventual sixth-place medalists Ryan Howes and Tyler Clark of Mill Valley.
Aquinas won the team title at regionals with 26 points, Bishop Miege was second with 18 and Mill Valley took third with five.
Scott said he sees numerous possibilities for his team next season, depending on how players develop between now and next season.
“Cordell Duncan and Lucas Isaacs are still just too inconsistent to stay with the consistent teams (in doubles),” Scott said of the frequent doubles partners throughout the season. “They were just as good as the Pittsburg team that beat them if they would just wait for the right shot to put away and not try to win too early in each point. Maybe this will come with maturity as seniors next year. I also think that Duncan and Isaacs would both make good singles players if Bush and Moulin go as our number one doubles team next year.
“We’ll have a lot of seniors and good experience returning next year, and it could be a really good year, especially if two Blue Valley schools move down to 5A and we move down to 4A. I sure am praying for that to happen.”
Scott was excited that the team’s talent extended far beyond the varsity roster this season.
“Our (junior varsity) had an 8-2-1 dual record, and that’s pretty darn good for them,” Scott said. “We have some guys who plan on doing some summer competitive programs, and I will have my second summer of Tuesday Night Tennis that I did last year.”
Tuesday Night Tennis takes place at 7 p.m. every Tuesday at BSHS, and Scott is on hand to work with players on drills and fundamentals, as well as to organize matches.
“Last summer helped us produce some new girls and new guys who came out this year. I hope that happens again,” Scott said. “This Tuesday Night Tennis is open to any middle school aged kid or above. I don’t think we are ready to take on real little ones at this stage. I sure would like to see someone do that someday — maybe the (YMCA) or someone else.”