Cheyenne Mountain’s boys’ tennis team didn’t have the luxury of making too many mistakes at the Class 4A state tournament.
Three years ago, they finished well outside of the top 10. This was uncharacteristic of a program that has produced 16 state titles.
But things seem to be shifting for the Indians, who waited until the last match at the state championship to secure third place for the second consecutive year at Pueblo City Park Tennis Complex in October. And Dave Adams, considered the architect of the Cheyenne Mountain program, is feeling some relief.
“We were very pleased with how things went this year,” Adams said. “We felt that when we didn’t finish in the top 15 or so (three years ago), it was a perfect storm for us — in a bad way. I felt good where we finished this year and last year. I felt like we have taken a step forward.”
Adams was named The Gazette Preps Boys’ Tennis Coach of the Year after guiding the Indians to an impressive state tournament run, gaining points where they could and winning matches when it mattered most. Ultimately, they finish behind winner Colorado Academy (95) and runner-up Niwot (71).
It wasn’t until Cheyenne Mountain freshman Ollie Muhl’s win in No. 3 singles that he, his teammates and coaches celebrated. They edged Kent Denver 45-43 to finish third.
Adams believes his program can only get better after this season.
They return seven players from this year’s squad. This list includes Muhl and No. 2 singles player Paul Jones, who both took third in their respective bracket, and Joey Geisz. Geisz advanced to the quarterfinals at No. 1 singles.
At the state tournament No. 2 Carver Ward/Max Schultz and No. 3 brothers Bennett and Konrad Ziegler captured third. Senior Grant Leap and sophomore Robbie Metz battled in each match, even beating a tough Kent Denver duo to get into the semifinals at No. 1. But they lost that match and eventually settled for fourth.
Two of the doubles teams will be dismantled because of graduation, and the younger Ziegler, Bennett, will study abroad next year. Nonetheless, Adams likes his team’s chances in 2019, especially because of the way the Indians finished this past season.
“That was a good ending for us,” he said. “A lot of things went well for us this year.”