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Cheyenne's 'Senior Seven' leads way to state with regional sweep
The Senior Seven is headed to state again.
To nobody’s surprise, Cheyenne Mountain’s boys’ tennis team won all seven titles at Friday’s 4A Region 6 championship and did it in dominant fashion. The Indians took 228 out of the 242 games in which they participated during the tournament.
Five of the 14 games dropped came in one match as Will Geisz and Robbie Boe won a tough 6-4, 6-1 decision over Coronado’s Jonah Buchanan and Sean Pharris at No. 4 doubles.
Cheyenne Mountain heads to state, which will be played Oct. 11-13 in Pueblo, having won two straight 4A titles and five of the past seven.
“We’ve enjoyed the success we’ve had over the past few years,” said Dave Adams, who has won 16 state titles in his 26 years as Cheyenne Mountain’s coach. “We’ve got strong senior leadership — we’ve got seven seniors on our team, five of whom have played on our varsity for four years — and they’ve been the core of this team.
“We’re enjoying it while we can.”
The Freshman Five, as they called themselves, were Stephen Moore, Billy Fielding, Drew Venner, Cole Benson and Matt Clancy. They became the Sophomore Six with the addition of Nathaniel Rocks, but had no nickname last year because there just wasn’t a good, catchy alliteration for junior. Carsten Lux joined the group this year.
“We all grew up playing tennis together,” Benson said. “We’ve been together since fifth grade and we knew we could do something special. Hopefully, we can do it again.”
The seniors have won state titles the past two years and were second in their freshman year. Winning a third straight championship won’t be easy, though.
“State is a whole different deal,” said Adams, who identified the top competition as Kent Denver, Niwot, Colorado Academy and Air Academy. “It’s going to be very tough competition. I expect Pueblo to be very exciting.”
Benson and Austin Hampton swept the No. 1 doubles title match 6-0, 6-0, while Lux and Colt Sessions did the same at No. 3 doubles. Rocks and Clancy took No. 2 doubles 6-0, 6-1. In singles, Moore won the No. 1 title match 6-0, 6-1 and Fielding took No. 2 6-1, 6-0.
Venner took No. 3 singles 6-0, 6-0, completing a tournament in which he swept all three matches. As the Indians player who dropped the fewest games, it was his honor to be the server in an odd ceremony that has become a tradition among this group of players. The rest of the team faced the fence and bent over while Venner smacked two smashes at them.
The players hit by the two tennis balls admitted it stung. But perhaps not as much as what’s to come.
“I went to elementary school with a lot of these kids,” Rocks said. “We’ve all just grown up playing tennis together. This was our last match here at Cheyenne. Going down to state, it’s going to be a little emotional for all of us I’m sure.”