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Bullpup Boys Tennis Finishes 5th in State Tournament


TOPEKA, Kan. – After a long season filled with adversity, McPherson Boys Tennis finishes 5th in the state in 4A after the tournament in Topeka.

The Bullpups finished just two points behind third place and one point behind 4th. Buhler took home the 4A title with 40 total points.

Below are the full results and remarks from head coach Tyler Brown.



  1. Buhler (40)
  2. Independence (35)
  3. Parsons (24)
  4. Shawnee Mission-Bishop Miege (23)
  5. McPherson (22)
  6. Winfield (22)
  7. Scott Community (12)
  8. El Dorado (10)
  9. Clay Center (10)
  10. Wellington (10)
  11. Chanute (7)
  12. Pratt (5)
  13. Augusta (4)
  14. Fort Scott (1)
  15. Circle (1)
  16. Chapman (0)
  17. Iola (0)
  18. Ottawa (0)



Hunter Mendez (7th)
Pau Gonzalez Carnicer (didn’t place)
Bryson Archer / Alex Berger (4th)
Charlie Krug / Owen Neighbors (didn’t place)


What an amazing season.  If you would have told me we would finish 5th at the 4A State Tennis Tournament just a couple weeks ago with only a point separating us from 4th and two points from 3rd, I would have thought you are crazy.   We had a top 10 singles player not come out so he could focus on other things, we had a doubles state qualifier have to step away from the team just after our opening home varsity meet.  We had two kids have to get MRI’s on their shoulders late in the season and not sure if their season would be ending early.  This team really had to weather the storm all season long and the team had to have people step up all year long!  But one of our biggest people that rose to the occasion was our only senior on our top 6, Hunter Mendez.  He was our quiet, reserved guy that led with his actions.  You could tell when Hunter first started playing tennis he wanted to get better because it showed in his work ethic and coachability.  He is the kind of player you really hope your underclassmen are watching and seeing what he is actually doing.  He is a man of few words but really shows how to lead a team through his actions.  Hunter was not seeded with the new format for the state tournament.  Many people don’t know they have changed the process of how players are placed in the state bracket.  The coaches actually seed the tournament by seeding the top 12 players and the remaining 12 players get randomly toggled in by how they placed in their regional.  So the bottom half of players are at the mercy of the randomized button to see where they fall on the bracket.  Hunter didn’t let any of that affect his state tournament though.  He knocked off a player that finished 8th at state last year in singles in his opening match 6-2, 7-5.  In his next match he lost to the #3 seed overall from Shawnee Mission Bishop Miege to send him to the backside of the bracket.  But he bounced back right away, beating Wade of El Dorado, 8-2 and beating Vogel of Chanute, 8-4 to make it to day 2.  This meant Hunter was guaranteed a medal.   He opened up day 2 with a win to put him in the bracket section to place 5th – 8th.  After that win, Hunter would go on to lose one and win one in his final match over the #4 seed from Scott Community to place 7th overall.  If you looked at who he played this tournament; Hunter pulled off wins over higher seed players along with getting indirect wins over players that were all seeded over him left you with a smile. The number in front of his name never phased him.  He just kept getting impressive win after impressive win over the 2 day state tournament.  Hunter would easily be our MVP of the tournament.  Next up are two juniors on the team Bryson Archer and Alex Berger which made up our #1 Doubles team.  Alex Berger is part of the MRI crew that we initially thought his season was over early.  But with tremendous courage and fight found a way to get cleared medically and be able to give his best shot through Regionals and State with a tear in his Labrum.  Alex couldn’t have done it though without his partner Bryson Archer always encouraging being there for him.  With almost 2 weeks off of not playing with each other, the guys came back together and rolled through Regionals becoming Doubles Regionals Champions and went onto state and became state semifinalist as well.  But before they could play their 3rd place match Alex shoulder just couldn’t go anymore.  After dropping their semifinal match to Winfield, Alex’s shoulder couldn’t give him another match.  We were pretty fortunate to have Alex play with Bryson 6 more matches before his shoulder had too much pain to continue playing.  The positive is these two juniors will be back for their senior year and be ready to go out as one of the top teams again.  Owen Neighbors and Charlie Krug were our #2 Doubles team that made it to state; but with not being a top 12 seed fell to the randomization of the toggle button and they didn’t have as good of luck where they fell on the bracket.  After winning their opening match they had to play the #1 seed overall, Independence which had a defending 3X State Champion and then were fed into the backside bracket where they would have to play the other Independence team that would go on to win the backside bracket and place 5th.  That match was to make day 2.  I felt like if they would have had any other path on the backside they would have been a top 12 doubles team at state!  There were several teams they either beat or finished above in other tournaments in the top 12.  Any other path on that bracket they would be state medalist no questions in my mind.  Pau Gonzalez Carnicer was the light of the team.  He was an exchange player from Spain and what an addition to the team he was.  Everyone that comes into contact with Pau has to walk away in a better mood.  He seemed to always bring a smile to those around him.  I will miss him sitting shotgun in the van with me to all our away meets.  Pau was able to win our Regional and become the McPherson Regional Champion in singles this year but his fate at state was similar to Owen and Charlie’s.  He was not blessed with a very good seed or spot on the bracket. Pau played for over 5 hours in his first two matches.  By the time he got to his 3rd match he was just gassed.  I so wish he could have had a different path on the bracket because I truly feel he has the talent to have medaled at state.  Lastly, thank you to Coach Sanchez!  I absolutely love having him coach with me.  He has all the qualities you want in a coach.  This team is lucky to have someone that is all in for the team and will go above and beyond what an assistant coach has to do.  But that is Coach Sanchez for you.  He is the epitome of what you want in a coach on the team;  What an amazing season Coach Sanchez and thank you for all your time and effort this year!  #BullpupNation