The road has been rough at recent state tournaments for local high school boys tennis teams.
Last year, Grantsville scored four points to finish eighth, while Tooele and Stansbury did not win a match at the state meet.
The Region 11 champion Cowboys appear primed to score more than last year’s point total at this weekend’s state meet at Liberty Park.
“I think we should be able to get at least six points, and hopefully more,” said Grantsville coach Steve Thurgood.
“This year I have a lot more confidence in our doubles teams. We didn’t get any points in doubles last year,” the coach said.
Thurgood said that third singles, and the two doubles teams have good shots at reaching the semifinals. He was miffed, however, that his first singles player Braden Sandberg will have to face Desert Hill’s Gabe Anderson in the opening match. Thurgood said that Anderson is one of the top players in the state, and was perplexed how he ended up a fourth seed from Region 9.
“Braden will have a tough match in the first round,” the coach said.
Tyler Colson and Matt Waldron will be the other two singles players in the tournament for the Cowboys. Dallin Dalton and Jacob May will play first doubles, with Lane Sutton and Tytan Thurgood at second doubles.
Stansbury will send a strong contingent to the state meet as well.
Logan McBride will play first singles: Jake Hardy, second singles; and Dakota Fidler, third singles. Carlos Gomez and Thaddeus Mitchel will play first doubles, with Jordan Jenkins and Alex Kimberling at second doubles.
“We were hoping that we could have given Grantsville more of a run for their money at the region tournament this year, but maybe next year,” said Stansbury coach Jacob Jones.
The Stallions finished with their best overall dual record at 11-5 this year, and placed sixth in a tough 12-team tournament in St. George.
“We have a young bunch of players that have really taken a liking to the sport. We will continue to build toward a region championship,” the coach said.
Tooele qualifiers include Ivan Gonzales at first singles, Jacob Vanderwerken at second singles and Jacob Nielson at third singles. The second doubles team of Josh Orton and Carsen Brewerton came on strong toward the end of the season and also qualified for state.
“I feel the season was a little crazy,” said Tooele coach Lyle Nielson. “It seems like all the kids had a ton of different things going on in their lives and had little time to practice which has been a challenge. To have all three singles and second doubles make it to state is very exciting.”