Last Friday, the Greenback boys’ tennis team travelled to Russell expecting a repeat of the previous year: final matches at midnight; frigid temperatures; and breaking a deadlock with Larned for the championship.
While the Greenbacks claimed last year’s championship by the narrowest of margins, this year saw them wrap up a runaway victory, ready to hit the road at 8:30 p.m.
Pratt lead all teams with a perfect 70 points, followed by Ellsworth (44), Colby (34), Larned (33), Russell (31), Hoisington (25), Trego (20), and Ellinwood (20).
In dominating fashion, Thomas Mayberry led the charge with three 6-0 victories over Trego, Colby, and Ellinwood.
“Thomas played some decent hitters,” said coach Larry Kahmeyer. “He just wasn’t going to give up anything. In one game, Thomas was attempting some harder shots and let his opponent get a 40-love lead only to seize control and take the game by ticking off the next four points. He’s really hitting well, but his biggest improvement is how much better he’s serving.
Teammate Jonathan Schotte held up his end of the bargain by winning 6-1, 6-1, and 6-0 to polish off Trego, Colby, and Larned.
“Jonny just keeps getting stronger every meet,” said Kahmeyer. His confidence is way up and he’s playing more aggressively, taking it to his opponents instead of being so defensive. He was playing well enough that he could’ve been competing at the #1 position and still won out.”
Juniors Liam Kahmeyer and Christian Kurz had the benefit of a first round bye, but took on all comers and dispatched them just as easily. After a quick 6-0 rout of Colby, the boys saw a strong Ellsworth team but put them away 6-2 to pocket gold.
“I was curious to see how Liam and Christian would respond after being off a round. The Ellsworth team finished fifth in their regional last year and are a decent team. Liam and Christian didn’t play their best and still put them away fairly easily,” said Kahmeyer.
Rounding out the sweep were #2 doubles partners Shivam Bhakta and Trae Foreman. In their best showing of the season the boys defeated Trego 6-0, Hoisington 6-0, and Larned 6-2.
“Shiv and Trae were clearly the best team in the #2 slot and I was pleased to see them play up to their potential. They are growing in confidence with every meet and it’s fun to watch them get better,” Kahmeyer said.
The PHS netters are back in action Tuesday at the High Chaparral beginning at 3 p.m.