Boys’ tennis season comes to an end

Aneka Zarger, Staff Reporter

As the year comes to an end, many sports teams at De Soto High School are finishing up as well. DHS boys’ tennis competed at State last weekend in Pratt, Kansas, finishing its season.

This year was the first time that every member of the team qualified for State.

Leading up to State, the team played at many different meets.

The Wildcat Invitational is a meet hosted by the school itself.

“As a team, we ended up taking first. My doubles team took first, Alex (Zoller) took first and second, Taylor (Herron) and Dustin (Williams) took sixth. Overall we did pretty well,” sophomore Jackson Allman said.

The team then advanced to League.

“League was pretty close, as I expected. I knew it was going to be tight against Paola for the title, but we ended up beating them by one point. Luke (Zoller) beat Alex again in singles, and Colton (Hess) and Jackson took second against Paola,” said head coach Justin Hoffman.

After placing first in League, the team played at Regionals.

“Regionals were really awesome. Alex was suffering from illness while playing. We all had a really tough time. Taylor and Dustin qualified for State for the first time. It was rough for my partner and I. It was very tiring because we played so many matches in one day,” Allman said.

Although  the turnout of Regional’s was not preferred, Hoffman sees the positives that came from it.

“Regionals was a long day. We played over one day, instead of playing over two like we usually do. I was hoping to take first or second, but we didn’t,” Hoffman said. “It didn’t quite reach my expectations, even though we were the only team that’s taking every player to State, the points did not fall our way. I would prefer to take everybody to State and receive a lower title.”

The team did not take home a trophy at State, although Luke took fifth in singles.

Not many changes were made between this year and last, and some believe the lack of changes have benefitted the team.

“We didn’t lose many seniors last year, so that was nice. Alex left my doubles team to play singles, and I got Colton, who is a freshman, and he is very good. I think the main difference is that we are all just better players,” Allman said.

Hess believes that what makes their team better is  more than just experience.

“I think we are really good as team. We encourage each other and work hard as a team,” Hess said.

With a successful year behind them,  many players look forward to returning next year.

“I’ll definitely keep doing it. I’ve played all my life, and I plan to continue,” Hess said.