High School Sports

Independent wins first boys tennis title

HILLSBORO — Independent coach Simon Norman refused to believe the math at the Class 3-2-1A boys tennis tournament Saturday. He borrowed a pen and notebook and figured out the team scoring himself.

Yes, it added up. Independent had won its first boys title by one point over Collegiate. Norman still didn't believe it, though. Not until he went to the officials tent and it was verified.

Then he calmly called his team and Independent fans onto a tennis court to relay the news, which was met with clapping and cheers.

"I didn't think it was going to happen," Norman said.

Collegiate had been in position to win the team title with all six of its players competing for first or third.

"It's disappointing in that you'd like to win," Collegiate coach Dave Hawley said. "But we got second to a very, very good team."

Independent finished first and third in singles and won the doubles title. Collegiate finished second and fourth in singles and second and third in doubles.

Independent sophomore Jake Norman, the coach's son, won his second singles title. He defeated Collegiate senior Daniel Ritchie for the second straight season, this time 6-1, 6-0.

"I'm glad I was able to bring my best tennis out here," Norman said.

He pushed Ritchie around the court, taking advantage of the fact that Ritchie had played a three-hour semifinal against Independent senior Corban Aspegren, who went on to finish third.

Norman also used his serve to perfection.

"My serve was pretty good," Norman said. "The wind helps me. I can hit the serve better with the wind. I hit the kick serve, and (the wind) gives it a little hop. It was a key. If I'm holding comfortably, it puts more pressure on his service game, which helps give me confidence."

The drama of the team title came down to the championship doubles match between the Collegiate team of Paul Abromeit and Hunter Morris against Independent's Jacob Maddox and Sam McCoy.

If Collegiate won, the team title went to the Spartans.

During the match, though, the team totals were still unknown, so Simon Norman and Collegiate coach Dave Hawley tried to simultaneously watch the championship match and the third-place match, where Collegiate's Chase Atnip and Clay Holden were playing against Hutchinson Trinity's Jason Banning and Michael Lindt.

Atnip and Holden finished third.

The doubles final went to a third set, and Maddox and McCoy, normally quiet players, let loose verbally, yelling "yeah" on most points.

Seeing that emotion pleased Norman.

"They're both such quiet guys," he said. "You have to really pull it out of them to get a bit of emotion and get them into it. They're both so quiet and unassuming, to see that come out of them, it's just a blast."

When a Collegiate volley sailed long and wide to end the match 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, Maddox and McCoy yelled "yes!" at the same time and hugged.

"It was pretty intense," said Maddox, a freshman. "It's the first time we both yelled at the same time. My hand is bruised from so many hand claps. I thought we played good the whole entire match. I thought it was our best match of the entire tournament."

Team totals

1. Independent 59, 2. Collegiate 58, 3. Sterling 22, 4. Larned 14, 5. (tie) Hutchinson Trinity and KC Christian 13, 7. (tie) Conway Springs and Meade 11, 9. (tie) Hillsboro and KC Maranatha 9, 11. Claflin 8, 12. Leavenworth Immaculata 3, 13. (tie), Hoisington and Marysville 2, 15. (tie) South Barber and Neodesha and Scott City and WaKeeney 1.


First—Jake Norman, Independent, def. Daniel Ritchie, Collegiate, 6-1, 6-0. Third— Corban Aspegren, Independent, def. Travis Osland, Collegiate, 6-2, 6-2. Fifth— Jordan Stewart, Sterling, def. Grant Shewey, Hillsboro, 9-3. Seventh— Benn Kirmer, Claflin, def. Jared Friesen, Meade, 9-2. Ninth— Kevin VonFeldt, Larned, def. David Horner, KC Christian, 9-2. 11th— Jaret Johnson, Larned, def. James Cha, Leavenworth, Immaculata, 9-1.

Semifinals—Ritchie, Collegiate, def. Aspegren, Independent, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5; Norman, Independent, def. Osland, Collegiate, 6-0, 6-0.


First—Jacob Maddox-Sam McCoy, Independent, def. Hunter Morris-Paul Abromeit, Collegiate, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Third— Chase Atnip-Clay Holden, Collegiate, def. Michael Lindt-Jason Banning, Hutchinson Trinity, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3). Fifth— Kayl Barkley-Jordan Ast, Conway Springs, def. Brandon King-Colten Anderson, Independent, 9-7. Seventh— Alex Siemers-Drew Swank, KC Maranatha, def. Josh Alholm-Jack Steadman, KC Christian, 9-6. Ninth— Jared Cullop-/Taylor Fair, Sterling, def. Keaton Prather-Jake Jaderston, Sterling, 9-2. 11th— Jahman Hill-Roeloff Pier, Larned, def. Jaden Friesen-Adam Gleason, Meade, 9-7.

Semifinals—Morris-Abromeit, Collegiate, def. Atnip-Holden, Collegiate, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4; Maddox-McCoy, Independent, def. Lindt-Banning, 6-3, 6-1.

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