With a couple of state champions and players making school history, the Eagle has announced its second All-Metro Boys Tennis Team.
Here are the selections:
Carson Mosier - Circle, Singles, Jr.
Mosier was a trailblazer in 2019.
One of the only Circle tennis players to ever reach a state championship match, Mosier finished his junior season with a 26-3 record and a regional championship. He said to know he made that kind of school history is a special feeling.
“It’s really awesome to be able to represent my school and do something that hasn’t been done in the past,” he said.
Mosier fell in the title match 6-2, 6-1 to Topeka Hayden’s Sean Sandstrom but beat Bishop Miege’s Evan Acuff 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinal round. Mosier’s outstanding tournament helped Circle to contend for the Class 4A team title in 2019. The Thunderbirds ended up with a sixth-place finish
“It’s just a really big motivator to keep going and see what I can do next year,” Mosier said.
Jadyn Richardson - Andover, Singles, Sr.
Richardson’s only two postseason losses came to the Class 5A champion and 5A runner-up.
Richardson finished fifth in the Class 5A singles tournament, losing 6-1, 7-6 to the eventual second-place finisher Adam Burke of St. James. He also came runner-up at Andover’s 5A regional tournament, losing to Topeka Seaman’s Pietro Perego, the eventual state champion.
Richardson picked up some massive victories in the postseason, including a regional semifinal and a fifth-place match against Maize South’s Jaden Tredway. He said he hopes he served as a good leader for his teammates.
“It feels good to be able to compete at the top with all the other guys,” Richardson said. “It was just a really good, competitive career.”
Hayden Brauer, Sr./Colby Swift, Sr. - Valley Center, Doubles
Had Hayden Brauer entered the singles tournament, he still probably would have been an All-Metro selection in 2019.
Instead, he rejoined his former playing partner Colby Swift for their senior season, and it paid off. The pair won the Class 5A doubles championship with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Salina Central’s Reed McHenry and Max Schaffer.
Brauer and Swift split up last year after a couple of under-performing seasons at the state tournament, but they broke through on their last shot.
“Placing from freshman through senior year in tennis is really rewarding,” Swift said. “It feels really good, especially to go out with a bang senior year.”
The pair’s title comes on the heels of Valley Center’s first team state championship in any boys sport last year. Brauer said he hopes the momentum continues.
“It’s a great feeling knowing how hard I’ve worked all these years and have left my mark on Valley Center High School,” Brauer said. “Hopefully we can keep the tradition going with some up and coming freshmen that will keep it alive.”
Luke Swan, So./ Max Wheeler, Sr. - Collegiate
Wheeler and Swan came back for vengeance in 2019.
After coming up short in the team title race and losing in the state semifinals and taking third last year, Wheeler and Swan won the Class 3-2-1A doubles title on their last chance together. The duo beat Central Plains’ Brett Liebl/Devin Ryan 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 7-5 in one of the best matches of the year.
“It was an unforgettable experience,” Swan said. “I’ve never felt anything that way before in a sport. It’s just unreal when we were down 3-5 in that third set and then when we won the state title as a team.”
On top of the doubles title, Collegiate gathered its troops and got back to its team title-winning ways. The Spartans held off Kansas City Christian to win by two points.
Wheeler leaves Collegiate as a three-time team champion and individual title-winner to top it off.
“It’s what you dream about when you’re a kid,” he said. “You want to do the best you can and senior year, it all works out. ... I didn’t want to lose again. It was just one point at a time.”
Dave Hawley - Collegiate, All-Metro Coach of the Year
Of all Hawley’s team titles, 2019 might go down as one of his most outstanding.
After losing Collegiate’s top two singles players from last year, the Spartans came together and got some much-needed points at the state tournament out of their second doubles team to capture boys title No. 23.
Collegiate held off KC Christian by two points, 39-37, for the tightest finish of all the state tournaments. It came down to Collegiate’s All-Metro doubles team of Max Wheeler/Luke Swan, who won the doubles championship.
The Spartans qualified their full starting lineup for state and didn’t have a regional finish below fourth. At state, Collegiate picked up a seventh, eighth and ninth-place finish to go along with Wheeler and Swan’s title.
“At the beginning of the year, it was a really interesting team,” Hawley said. “It’s a reminder that to win a team title, it’s not just the kids at the top. You have to have those kids that get you points at the No. 2 spots, so this is really, really gratifying.”