Ad Astra Radio Family Brands

Three thoughts on boys state tennis


By Brad Hallier

It wouldn’t be spring sports in Kansas without constantly checking the upcoming weather forecasts. Fans and school administrators are probably are getting a little nervous looking at next week’s forecast across the state, as many days could have rain.

But state tennis should go off without many problems. It should actually be a glorious weekend weather-wise.

Here are three storylines to watch for at state tennis tournaments, which begin Friday.

Strength in numbers of Buhler

It can’t be stated enough what Matt Babcock has built in Buhler. The Crusaders seem to be solid and deep every year, and this year is no exception.

It looks like it’ll be a five-team race for the Class 4A state championship, and Buhler is in that group along with Independence, Clay Center, McPherson and Bishop Miege.

Buhler swept both divisions at the regional it hosted, with junior Davian Spies winning singles, and the junior Von Woleslagle and sophomore Reuben Harder taking the doubles title. Neither were seriously challenged at regionals.

But Buhler is taking its entire squad to state, so there will be chances to score plenty of points, as senior Amos Harder was third in singles, and seniors Eli Biggs and Merick Manns were fourth in doubles. The state title could come down to head-to-head meetings among those five contenders.

McPherson is loaded as well

Believe it or not, McPherson matched every placement Buhler did.

The Bullpups won their own regional with a strong performance. Junior Pau Gonzalez was the singles champion, while juniors Alex Berger and Bryson Archer took the doubles title. Senior Hunter Mendez was third in singles, and juniors Charles Krug and Owen Neighbors were fourth in doubles.

The depth is there for McPherson as well.

Smoky Valley dominates regional filled with private schools

One of the more underrated moments from regional tennis was how Smoky Valley went out and destroyed the field in Marysville.

The eight-team Class 3-2-1A regional included five private schools from Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City and Salina, and yet, Smoky Valley gathered 20 points and easily took the team championship.

While Smoky Valley had only one finalist, no Smoky Valley entry finished worse than fourth. The Vikings may not win either division this weekend, but the Vikings will be in line to challenge for a trophy with that depth.