The Kansas Class 6A boys tennis state tournament could not have turned out much better for the teams from the Eastern Kansas and Sunflower leagues.
After the first day of competition, only the Sunflower and EKL teams advanced to the semifinals, and by the end the winners were all from the same regional as well. Shawnee Mission East won the team championship for the third straight year, making it seven straight titles for a metro area school.
“There’s a lot of good training and good tennis,” Blue Valley Northwest coach Ted Fabiano said. “The kids who you see out here play a lot, are really committed to tennis and it shows from the level of play out here.”
Brooks Kendall of Shawnee Mission East, who had placed third at the state meet the last two seasons, won the singles title by defeating teammate Jack Santilli in the final. Kendall finished with a 24-3 record.
“Four years went by fast, and I’m glad we finished on a high note, especially as a team,” said Kendall, who will play for UMKC next season. “It felt good to get the singles title, too.”
On the doubles side, Brett White and Max Katcher of Blue Valley Northwest had to get past teammates Yash Mylavarapu and Jonathan Lowe in the semifinals before advancing to the championship match where they defeated Mitchell and Alex Samuelson to win the title. White and Katcher entered the tournament having played only five matches together and finished with a 9-0 record.
With first- and third-place finishes in doubles and a fourth place in singles, Blue Valley Northwest placed second. Blue Valley North finished third and was followed by Olathe Northwest, Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Blue Valley North, Lawrence, Olathe North, Topeka Washburn Rural, Maize, Olathe East and Olathe South and Gardner tied for 13th.
Aquinas fourth in doubles
In his four years at St. Thomas Aquinas, Blake Jackson became one of the most consistent names in the Class 5A state tennis tournament semifinals.
He won the singles tournament as a freshman, placed third as a junior in doubles with Eric Robinson and returned this season for a fourth-place finish alongside Patrick Krim at the Kossover Tennis Center in Topeka last Saturday.
The Saints placed 10th as a team with 12 points. St. James Academy followed in 12th, and Mill Valley was 15th.
Goodwin caps perfect season
Kansas City Christian won its first Class 3-2-1A state title in Goddard last Saturday, and it only seems appropriate that it was ushered in by Johnny Goodwin who capped a perfect season with a state championship.
“I had never seen some of the guys playing as hard as they were,” Goodwin said. “They were competing, they were fighting and I just loved it.”
The singles title was the second of Goodwin’s career, and he finished the season with a 30-0 record.
Alex Kartsonis and Jackson Vander Ark added a third place finish in doubles, and William Vander Ark and Turner Jones came in ninth.