MAIZE — Neither of the Goddard's doubles teams gave much thought to the practices leading up to the Class 6A tennis regional at Maize.
The top-seeded team of Tanner Cluck and Jared Ferris and the Lions' second team of Dillon Cott and Ryan Wolfe met again on Saturday, this time playing for a regional title.
"It feels like just another match with them," Cluck said. "It always does. We always have fun playing each other. When it got to the end, we got a little heated. People started realizing this was it for the regional title."
Cluck and Ferris won the doubles title in a super tiebreaker 12-10 after splitting two sets 4-6, 6-2. Goddard also qualified both of its singles players, Matt Becker and Tanner Lambky, and scored 20 points to win the team title over Maize.
"That was the goal from the beginning of the season," Ferris said. "That was our goal all along, to win regionals."
In the last 10 years, Goddard has either won or taken second at its regional. This was its first title since 2007.
"We're going to be honored to put a banner up in the gym," coach Dan Buchanan said. "That hasn't happened for awhile."
Many of the Goddard players wore T-shirts saying "Coach John Markham" in memory of the long-time Goddard coach who passed away in late 2009.
"I know this would make coach Markham really proud," Cott said.
Cluck and Ferris entered the tournament in a mini-slump. But after losing two sets in their three wins before the final, the team said its direction was righted.
Cluck said it was fitting the two tournaments they won this season were the John Markham Classic and at the regional.
"If there were two tournaments we were going to step up and win, we were pretty happy it was those two," Cluck said.
In singles, Maize's Clint Chlumsky was a three-time state qualifier entering the day. But that didn't prevent him from being nervous.
"I still kind of had the jitters," Chlumsky said. "To get that second match to qualify under my belt was huge. I just enjoyed the rest of the day after that."
There was plenty to savor in Chlumsky's day, which ended in a singles title. The senior won in straight sets all four matches, including a 6-2, 6-1 final victory over Campus' Mitchell Whitmer.
Maize also qualified its other singles player, Kelyn Vix, who placed third, and a doubles team in Zach Graham and Matt Jenkins.
Whitmer's road to the finals became interesting in his semifinals win over Becker. During the second set Whitmer broke two strings of his only racket and had to ask for another racket — but not just any.
"I actually gave my old rackets to my teammate when I got new ones this summer," Whitmer said. "It's the same exact racket as I used to use. I kind of had a little comfort level with it because I remembered the good times with it."
Other qualifiers included North's Jeff Wherritt in singles and the Northwest doubles team of Andrew Haralson and Trevor Metzger.
Team results — 1. Goddard 20; 2. Maize 16; 3. Campus 7; 4. Northwest 6; 5. Garden City 4; 6. Dodge City 3; 7. North 2; 8. South 0.
Singles — 1. Chlumsky, Maize, def. Whitmer, Campus, 6-2, 6-1; 3. Vix, Maize, def. Becker, Goddard, 6-3, 6-3; 5. Lambky, Goddard, def. Wherritt, North, 6-3, 2-6, 10-8
Doubles — 1. Cluck/Ferris, Goddard, def. Cott/Wolfe, Goddard, 4-6, 6-2 (12-10); 3. Harlason/Metzger, Northwest, def. Riggs/Clarke, Dodge City, 6-1, 6-1; 5. Graham/Jenkins, Maize, def. Neidhart/Hutchcraft, Dodge City, 6-2, 6-3.