LINDSBORG — McPherson High tennis coach Tyler Brown kept his lineup for Friday's Class 4A Regional Tournament under wraps until the morning's seeding meeting.
Brown had gone back into his lab this week to determine his best possible lineup to get all six of his players on to state. What he concocted was yet another different order, one that he hadn't used all year.
And it worked.
The Bullpups qualified all six players, including a first-time-ever pairing of Gallagher Martin and Nolan Schrader in doubles. All they did was take first place and earn one of the top seeds at next week's state meet at Pratt.
Martin and Schrader were a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Abilene's Reggie Koop and Ryan LaCombe in the finals.
The other MHS doubles team of Kento Aizawa and Luke Williams took third place after losing to Martin and Schrader in the semifinals.
Meanwhile in singles for Bullpups, Andrew Snell took second place and Kaden Stewart was fourth. Snell lost 6-1, 6-2 in the finals to Abilene's Gabe Johnson, who is 22-2 and will be one of the top contenders next week.
Three of the six Bullpup state qualifiers are freshmen.
The Bullpups scored 22 points for the team title, outlasting the 19 posted by Abilene. Smoky Valley was a distant third with 9.
Smoky Valley advanced both doubles teams as Trapper Bellah and Nick Reinert defeated teammates Seth Yenni and Jarod Meier in the fifth-place match. The top six advance.
Drew Bochte was fifth in singles for the Vikings to also qualify.
The state meet begins on Friday.
• Smoky Valley Regional Qualifiers with season records:
1. Gabe Johnson, Abilene, 22-2. 2. Andrew Snell, McPherson, 18-10. 3. Jacob Berven, Abilene, 23-4. 4. Kaden Stewart, McPherson, 8-4. 5. Drew Bochte, Smoky Valley, 21-13. 6. Andrew McGinnins, Hays, 17-10.
1. Gallagher Martin-Nolan Schrader, McPherson, 4-0. 2. Reggie Koop-Ryan LaCombe, Abilene, 15-3. 3. Luke Williams-Kento Aizawa, McPherson, 20-12. 4. Nathan Nelson-Kade Stroud, Chapman, 21-6. 5. Trapper Bellah-Nick Reinert, Smoky Valley, 16-13. 6. Jarod Meier-Seth Yenni, Smoky Valley, 15-12.