GODDARD — McPherson High’s boys tennis team captured first place in the prestigious John Markham Spring Classic on Saturday.
The doubles team of Nolan Schrader and Kento Aizawa took first, defeating Lawrence Free State’s Ian Pultz-Earl and Erik Czaplinski 8-6 in the finals. Jarrod Nowak lost to Wichita Independent’s Wonjoon Cho in the singles final, 8-2. Choo was fourth in the state last year in 3-2-1A.
Also for the Bullpups, Andrew Snell was fifth in singles and the doubles team of Kaden Stewart and Hadley Hageman were ninth as the Bullpups displayed the talent of their depth.
MHS scored 139 points for first, turning back the challenge of 5A power Goddard Eisenhower and 6A standout Lawrence Free State. There were 16 of the better teams in the state in the field, including Independence, which is expected to challenge MHS for Class 4A supremacy. Wichita Collegiate, battling with MHS and Indy for 4A honors, did not bring its top players and finished well back.
“Anytime we play 20 matches as a team and only lose three of them I would say that is a highly successful day,” MHS coach Tyler Brown said. “This spring has been tough conditions to play in. It's seems to always be windy and cold, but this group of boys just rolls with it. I can't say enough about their work ethic and determination to do well. There was 16 teams at the Goddard Spring Classic and the fact we came out on top is a reflection on their will to win and the time and effort they put into their game. We shuffled our lineup around looking for that right combination and (assistant) coach (Noah) Lindfors and myself didn't hear a single complaint. They go with it, test it out and just continue to win no matter the lineup. We have such a talented group I feel like we could go with so many lineups, it makes it extremely tough to know what will be best down the road.”