It's eight combined individual state tennis championships for the Frye and King families after Barstow's Bradley Frye and Brian King captured the Missouri Class 1 doubles title on Saturday at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield.
The championship was the second for Bradley Frye, who captured the state singles title last year. His sister Elena, who was there supporting her brother Saturday, had three state titles, two in doubles and one in singles. Elena recently graduated from Boston College.
Brian's sister, Janie, was a two-time state doubles champion. This was the first for Brian, who like Bradley is a senior.
"I guess you can say that I followed in my sister's footsteps," said Frye, who will play tennis at the University of Southern California in the fall.
Elena had won a singles title as a junior and followed with the doubles title. Bradley decided early in the season that he was not going to defend his singles championship but instead try to win one with another senior teammate.
"It was a great decision," Frye said. "Honestly, this one means more than the singles title last year, being able to share it with Brian. And this was the first boy's doubles title for Barstow."
Frye and King started slowly in their championship match against Akash Rajan and Matthew Fan of Class 1 team champion John Burroughs. The Bombers won the first two games and had a 30-0 lead in the third game before Barstow rallied.
"It was the first time Brian had been in a championship match with a chair umpire and he was super nervous," Frye said. "And John Burroughs came out firing. They actually had a chance to go up 4-1 in the first set. We kind of figured out their tendencies and played well together."
Barstow coach Tom O'Brien said that one major thing turned around the match.
"Bradley Frye started to play like one of the best players in the Midwest, which he is," O'Brien said.
King was the happiest guy to learn that during the season that he was going to be teamed with Frye in the postseason.
"We really got going in the Tournament of Champions in St. Louis and kept it up until the end," King said. "We got some good doubles experience, and it is great to have a guy like Bradley as your partner. He is unreal every time I have seen him, and that was the case again today. It feels awesome to be a state champion."
The Barstow doubles team was the only area champion.
Staley's Gates takes second
Staley senior Carson Gates was involved in one of the most anticipated matches in recent state history. Gates faced Parkway South senior Carson Haskins in the Class 2 singles title match for the third year in a row. For the third year, Gates was standing on the number two podium as he received his award. Gates lost to a player who is the most accomplished in state history. Haskins won 6-1, 6-4 and finished his career with a 94-0 record and four state titles. Haskins did not even lose a set in his high school career.
"He's really good mentally," said Gates of Haskins, who will be attending the University of Indiana. "He knows your weaknesses and exploits them. Today he was using the slice a lot. I felt I didn't play too well in the first set today, but I battled for an hour and a half n the second set. I was not going to give him his four-peat without a fight."
Gates, who will be attending Michigan State University, finished his career with an 86-3 record. All three losses came against Haskins in the state championship. In any other era, Gates may have been celebrating his third state singles championship.
The Pembroke Hill doubles team of Logan Stevens and Matthew Gernon finished third in Class 1 doubles.
Their teammate, Nathan Turtledove won the Class 1 singles consolation championship.
Liberty's doubles team of Owen Mulcahy and Tyson Cowger finished third in Class 2 doubles.
St. Louis area players swept the singles titles with Haskins winning in Class 2 and MICDS freshman Evan Erb winning the Class 1 title.
Columbia Rock Bridge's Zach Grueber and Jake Fraunfelder won in Class 2 doubles, defeating their teammates, Kamran Farid and Noah Winton in the finals.