Daniel Ritchie was a part of the team that won the Class 3A tournament last season. Ritchie finished second in singles. Ritchie has set the bar high for his senior season, as well as the academic life that awaits him at the University of Kansas.
What are your goals heading into the Class 3A tournament?
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"My potential goal is to definitely winning state — taking first place. Hopefully also winning state as a team, as well, which I think we've put ourselves in a pretty good position to do. I will definitely be competing in singles, and I got second in the regional behind Jake Norman (of Independent)."
Do you guys have a friendly rivalry?
"Definitely with Independent we have a rivalry. I know Jake personally, and he's a good guy. When we both go out on the court, there are no sympathy points that go on."
Did you ever think about playing tennis in college?
"My middle brother had the opportunity to go play, but he chose to go ahead and pursue his academics. That worked pretty well for him. So I'm thinking I'm going to do the same thing, and I'm not going to play college tennis. There were definitely some places I could go, but I don't think I would be able to make the time for all of the practices that go on. I'm ready to put all my focus on my academics right now."
What college are you going to and what are you going to major in?
"I'm going to KU, and hopefully I will major in human biology. It is actually following a little in my brother's (Cole) footsteps. He majored in that, and I've seen that it takes a lot of dedication like tennis to be successful in this major, and I think I'm up to it. I think I'm ready for the next challenge. My older brother (Sam) went to law school. So I have some footsteps to fill not only in tennis here, but in school as well. I have to keep up with what they do."
Are you going continue to play tennis recreationally?
"Yes. KU doesn't have a men's team any more. Otherwise I would look at that as an option for maybe playing on their team. But I will definitely do intramural sports. I'm sure I will be able to find some great players up there to compete with."