Park Metropolis’s younger and embattled boys tennis team went to the Class 5A championships final week in the hunt for one final thrill experience, however they returned house empty-handed.
The Miners completed in fifth place with 4 factors, however given the curler coaster-esque highs and lows of the season, there are worse locations to be.
Sophomore Coen Woolley had Park Metropolis’s greatest run within the state match this yr. Taking part in within the third singles bracket, he simply dispatched his first two opponents earlier than assembly Skyline’s Gunnar Woller in a battle between the highest third singles gamers from Area 8 and Area 6, respectively. Woller eradicated Woolley 6-4, 6-3 earlier than dropping just one recreation within the finals.
“I feel it was top-of-the-line matches that Coen has ever performed, though he misplaced,” DeLong stated. “He performed a very nice match.”
Senior Will Efrusy, who received the state championship at third singles as a sophomore, spent 4 years working towards taking part in first singles. However his high-school profession had an anti-climactic finish, as he fell within the first spherical to Viewmont freshman Nate Tullis by a rating of 6-2, 6-3.
“I feel it was powerful, however, you understand, Will’s bought a very good perspective about these items, and he is aware of that he performed a very good match and misplaced towards a tricky opponent,” DeLong stated. “Stepping up and being the No. 1 man for our workforce was positively a heavy load for him, however he performed nicely and he had an awesome season, so I’m happy with him.”
Park Metropolis sophomore Dominic Jamrich rolled by way of his first-round matchup within the second singles bracket towards Timpview’s Cameron Boyle and met Matt Holmes of Olympus within the second spherical. Jamrich misplaced the primary set 6-3 and narrowly misplaced the second set 7-5.
Park Metropolis’s solely doubles workforce, the primary doubles duo of senior Drew Neff and sophomore Kaj Christensen, dropped solely two video games within the first spherical. In opposition to Orem’s first doubles workforce within the second spherical, the Miners dropped the primary set however fought again with a 6-4 win within the second set. However they couldn’t carry over any momentum within the third set and misplaced 6-3.
“I assumed we had been sort of rolling going into the third however had a letdown and simply couldn’t execute a few of our put-away photographs in that third set,” DeLong stated. “It was a tricky one, the blokes are positively bummed as a result of they felt they may have, you understand, received the match, however that’s the way it goes.”
DeLong feels the stress of delivering a aggressive workforce for a college like Park Metropolis that has traditionally competed for titles, together with a championship in its final yr in Class 4A in 2019. However the Miners suffered loads of hardship this yr. Park Metropolis was down to simply 12 gamers by the point the state playoffs rolled round — a lower from 25 the yr prior. Throw in the truth that it’s the Miners’ first season each in Class 5A and with DeLong on the helm, and it’s not onerous to see why DeLong feels good about the place his workforce is at.
“Usually, I feel Park Metropolis has a stable tennis workforce and expects quite a bit out of the tennis, so this yr most likely could be, you understand, thought of a median yr,” DeLong stated. “However contemplating that, you understand, we had a number of our potential prime guys — nicely, two of our prime guys and a pair different guys who would have perhaps performed varsity — all not be capable to play for numerous causes, I really feel like the blokes stepping up and competing all the season and ending up with a fifth-place end was fairly good.”
The excellent news for the Miners is that loads of youthful gamers gained expertise that they’ll be taught from transferring ahead, like Jamrich, Woolley and Christensen. DeLong expects a heated battle between Jamrich and Woolley for the No. 1 spot subsequent yr and Christensen taking part in on the singles aspect. Plus, DeLong and his workforce could have a “regular” offseason this yr in comparison with final yr.
“We’ll actually, you understand, put extra work into the offseason when the foundations enable us to and we’ll be much more ready for subsequent yr,” he stated. “And the workforce will probably be higher subsequent yr, having, you understand, all these sophomores on the workforce. So, they’re going to be juniors and so they’ll be stronger and fitter and simply extra skilled tennis gamers, so, yeah, I look ahead to subsequent season as a result of we will probably be a more durable squad.”