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Bullpup Boys Finish Season Strong, Taking 4th in Class 4A State Tournament

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By Grant Barrett, Ad Astra Radio

 

PRATT, Kan. – The McPherson High Boys Tennis team entered this season with very little experience at the state tournament, but down the stretch, they proved that they could compete with some of the best in the state, bringing home medals in three of the four entries to finish fourth in the Class 4A Tournament on Saturday.

“What an amazing season.” said Head Coach Tyler Brown, “This group of young men have shown tremendous growth from the start of the season to the end of the season.”

Kayden McVicker was the lone senior on the team this season, and he paired with Alex Berger to finish 2-2 for fourth place. Following the tournament, Brown talked about the leadership that McVicker brought each day throughout the course of the season, saying, “He has multiple qualities you hope your underclassman takes notice of; always ready for practice and ready to work hard.  Always vocal and trying to help teammates and always pushing them to be better.”  

Kayden finished his senior year medalling at league, becoming a regional champion in doubles, and a state medalist finishing 4th at the 4A State Tournament.  And completed the season by becoming 1st Team All State. Alex Berger, McVicker’s doubles partner, will also share all those accolades.  “Alex, only being a sophomore will have two years to chase that dream of always trying to go one more round further.” noted Brown.

Both singles players of Ethan Elder and Bryson Archer showed they are ready to compete with the top players in the state finishing 4-3, making it to day 2, and into the medal rounds as sophomores where they finished 10th and 11th place.  

Hunter Mendez and Viggo McHenry played a full season of varsity tournaments for the first time this season, and Brown mentioned them as potentially being the most improved on the season.  “In their first year of a varsity level schedule they handled their first year in an amazing manner.” said Brown, “Their growth over the course of the season was outstanding and may have only been a super tiebreaker away from possibly making the medal rounds themself.”  

Brown reflected on the season by adding, “When you have your whole team in the state tournament you have to have someone on your team like Coach Ricardo Sanchez.” he said,  “I just personally want to say thank you Coach Sanchez for all you do for our team.”  Brown concluded by saying, “My final thank you goes to all the parents, colleagues, past players, friends and family that came out to support this year’s boys tennis team all season long and for also making that drive to Pratt for the state tournament.  That kind of support for the players always makes the experience that much more for the team.”

Below are the team and individual results from the Class 4A State Tournament in Pratt;

Independence 44

Parsons 38

Buhler 32

McPherson 20

Winfield 18

SM Bishop Miege 16

Wellington 14

Topeka Hayden 12

Augusta 7

Chapman 7

Chanute 5

Clay Center 3

Ottawa 3

Towanda Circle 3

Fort Scott 2

Coffeyville 1

El Dorado 1

Pratt 0

 

Ethan Elder 10th (4-3)

Bryson Archer 11th (4-3)

Kayden McVicker / Alex Berger 4th (2-2)

Hunter Mendez / Viggo McHenry (0-2)