Amarillo High has impressive regional showing
Led by two former state champs, area players were impressive at the Region 1-5A tournament Monday and Tuesday at the McLeod Tennis Center in Lubbock. Eleanor Archer of Amarillo High led the way, as last year’s singles champ, teamed up with Morgan Rose for a girls doubles title over teammates Allex Gonzales and Karli Lakey, 6-2, 7-5. Not to be outdone, Wade Bryant has a new partner in Kelton Brown, but the results continue to be nothing but gold. One year removed from a doubles title with Taylor Vigil, Bryant and Brown had no trouble in capturing this year’s regional title with a 6-2, 7-5 win over an Abilene Wylie duo. Tascosa senior Ethan Ruppanner, a Trinity University signee, also heads back to state. The dominant senior had little trouble in grabbing the boys singles title with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Griffin Sullivan from Abilene.
Randall, West Plains make history
History was being made Wednesday and Thursday at the McLeod Tennis Center in Lubbock by two schools from Canyon ISD. In mixed doubles, Scout Adams and Parker Steinman became the first Wolves to advance to the state tournament with a hard fought three set victory over uber talented K’Linda Mason and her partner Brandon Ysaguirre from Hereford, 6-5, 5-7, 7-6 (4). Forced into a playback match, Mason and Ysaguirre will join the West Plains duo at state with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Andrews. As Adams and Steinman were setting history for Canyon’s newest school, Randall followed up its state team tennis title by grabbing four spots at state led by Ella Hester in girls’ singles. Hester, a Texas A&M-Kingsville signee, grabbed gold over Ella Dudley from Hereford 6-3, 6-2. Dudley was forced into a playback match and lost to Jessie Stephan of Wichita Falls, 7-5, 6-3.
It was an all-Randall matchup in the girls doubles final as Kynley Craddock and Landrey Posey took gold over Kaitlyn Craddock and Elizabeth Hollabaugh, 6-2, 6-1. Craddock and Hollabaugh avoided a playback to make it all Lady Raiders at state. Finally, in boys’ doubles, a rematch from District 4-4A saw Carson Dyess and Aidan Gilbert repeat as champions by taking down Mason Bagwell and Terry Ketchum of Pampa, 6-1, 6-1. In the playback match, Bagwell and Ketchum nabbed a hard fought 7-6 (3), 6-2 victory over a Wichita Falls duo to join Dyess and Gilbert at state. The four spots grabbed by Randall marks the first time in school history that more than one entry made it to the state tournament.
Garnett shines for Spearman
The only area gold medal in this region belongs to Jeb Garnett of Spearman. In a highly competitive region, Garnett stood tall over the competition and earned his spot at state with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Joe Melone of Wall. Seeded third in the tournament, Garnett took out the top seed, Kellan Williams of Brock, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals before winning gold over the second seeded Melone in the finals.
Nazareth has strong regional showing
Lost in the mystique of the Swiftettes basketball team is the fact that Nazareth is just as successful in tennis. At the Region 1-1A meet in Levelland Monday and Tuesday, three teams made the state tournament led by the boys’ doubles duo of Carson Heiman and Tanner Wethington. Despite losing his mixed doubles partner, Harley Gerber, to a torn ACL, Heiman was just as successful with Wethington by taking out Borden County 7-5, 6-0 to grab gold. Iris Schilderink and Caysen High didn’t give up the mixed doubles title that Naz owns by getting a 6-2, 7-6 win over Whiteface for the title. The third team headed to state is the girls’ doubles team of Chloe Birkenfeld and Taylor Wethington. They punched their ticket the hard way via the playback match and won 7-5, 7-5 over their teammates Madison Brockman and Brooklyn Birkenfeld to avenge a loss at district.
After two straight silver medals, Happy’s Camden Sperry was able to drape a gold medal around his neck with a comeback 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Chapman Sims from Grady. Down 4-2 in the second set, Sperry went on a run, winning ten of the next twelve games to hoist the boys’ singles title. Groom also has a pair of players headed to state. Ali Friemel heads back in girls’ singles taking second place while Blayne and Bryson Schuck fought back through the playback circuit to win second in boys’ doubles with a 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over Borden County.
Note: There wasn’t an Amarillo-area competitor from Region I-2A to advance to the UIL state meet. Ricky Altamirano of Gruver in boys’ singles and Summer Owens of Wellington in girls’ singles each fell just short of state by falling in their playback matches.