GODDARD — Goddard seniors Tanner Cluck and Jared Ferris can be reminded every time they go into the tennis room what they are playing for. It's written on the board. "Every point... every match... every day... for Markham."
So when Cluck and Ferris began their day at the John Markham Spring Classic on Saturday, their hearts and minds weighed heavy.
Even during their final match, they reminded themselves who and what this tournament was for.
"We'd been thinking about him all day and once we got to the finals we said, 'This is going to be for Coach,' " Cluck said.
Markham, Goddard's longtime coach, died Oct. 22, 2009. Cluck and Ferris, who each played three years for Markham, couldn't have played out a better finish as they defeated Topeka West's Andrew and Austin Davids 8-5 to win the doubles championship.
"It was all for him," Ferris said. "We came out playing, knowing we didn't have anything to lose. We just wanted to go out and make him proud."
Wichita Independent freshman Jake Norman won the singles championship. Norman defeated Winfield's Adam Lawrence 8-2 in the final.
But the day belonged to Cluck and Ferris, who had to battle through the Davids' talented serving ability in the final.
When the powerful first serves landed in, Cluck and Ferris knew how to handle it.
"Whenever we play against good serves, we learned that you just have to grind it out," Cluck said. "You have to do anything you can to get any points."
After the teams split the first six games, Goddard won game seven, which had four deuce points. Later Goddard won 10 consecutive points to go up 7-5 and eventually broke Topeka West to win the match.
Goddard never trailed thanks to its scrappy play and, for Goddard coach Dan Buchanan, it was special.
"We think we have the responsibility and then the challenge to keep the Goddard tradition built by Coach Markham," Buchanan said. "Today we did that, it was special."
Norman has already started to carry on his family tradition. His brother Ryan, a three-time state champion, plays tennis at Creighton, and his dad Simon coaches Jake at Independent.
"It was tough coming out as a freshman and not having as much high school experience as some other guys," Norman said. "It means a lot, especially with my brother graduating, to come in and still have a Norman on the team and representing us."
Hutchinson won the team championship followed by Independent and Goddard Blue.
Wichita Collegiate's Daniel Ritchie finished third in singles with an 8-1 win over Maize's Clint Chlumsky.
1. Hutchinson 149; 2. Wichita Independent 144; 3. Goddard Blue 142; 4. St. Thomas Aquinas 111; 5. Winfield 103; 6. Wichita Collegiate 92; 7. Maize 77; 8. Topeka West 72; 9. Lawrence Free State 65; 10. Salina Central 64; 11. Bishop Carroll 59; 12. Blue Valley West 58; 13. Conway Springs 53; 14. Goddard White 47; 15. Claflin 45; 16. Campus 43.
Singles—1. Norman, Wichita Independent, def. Lawrence, Winfield, 8-2; 3. Ritchie, Wichita Collegiate, def. Chlumsky, Maize, 8-1; 5. Aspegren, Wichita Independent, def. Logan, St. Thomas Aquinas, 8-2; 7. Whitmer, Campus, def. Hickman, Hutchinson, 8-4; 9. Becker, Goddard Blue, def. Queal, Hutchinson, 8-4; 11. Lambky, Goddard Blue, def. Joseph, Lawrence Free State, 8-4; 13. Cuestas, Maize, def. Irwin, Goddard White, 8-5; 15. Morris, Wichita Collegiate, def. Brettman, Blue Valley West, 8-2.
Doubles—1. Cluck-Ferris, Goddard Blue, def. An. Davids-Au. Davids, Topeka West, 8-5. 3. Jackson-Boschert, St. Thomas Aquinas, def. Braun-Fangman, Hutchinson, 8-5; 5. Lucero-McKee, Hutchinson, def. Menne-Trollman, Winfield, 8-0; 7. Lang-Barkely, Conway Springs, def. Miller-Torres, Bishop Carroll, 8-3; 9. Smith-McCoy, Wichita Independent, def. Anderson-Liu, Salina Central, 8-5; 11. Cott-Wolfe, Goddard Blue, def. Morris-Holden, Wichita Collegiate, 8-7 (5); 13. J. Stevens-T. Stevens, Blue Valley West, def. Bengston-Brown, Salina Central, 8-5; 15. Carttar-Helt, Lawrence Free State, def. Klug-Miller, Claflin, 8-3.