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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Gayer’s last state tourney yields bronze finish for Pups

  • McPherson High School boys tennis coach Doug Gayer took his final bow Saturday after nearly 30 years of coaching with the Bullpups and his team sent him off with one last plaque, as MHS finished third in the team competition Saturday.
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  • McPherson High School boys tennis coach Doug Gayer took his final bow Saturday after nearly 30 years of coaching with the Bullpups and his team sent him off with one last plaque, as MHS finished third in the team competition Saturday.
    The Pups took the bronze finish with second- and third-place finishes in the doubles bracket from seniors Ben Davidson and Max Pyle and juniors Peter and Ryan Horton, respectively.
    The day started out for the Bullpups with the two team facing each other for the right to move onto the championship match. Davidson and Pyle took that match in straight sets, winning 6-2, 6-2.
    That set up the rubber match between the McPherson High duo and Independence’s Gavin Webster and Tyler Posch.
    Davidson and Pyle had already defeated the Independence team twice this season, but Webster and Posch took the third meeting, and the 4A doubles championship, 6-3, 2-6, 6-6 (7-5).
    The third set had all the drama you would want out of a championship match, as Pyle and Davidson responded from being down 3-0 to pull back and tie it at 5-5 and then 6-6. The third set tie breaker saw the Pups fall behind 3-0, but fight back to lead 5-4. Independence then took the last three points to win the title in front of a large Independence crowd.
    “That match is what high school sports is all about,” Gayer said. “That’s why we do what we do as coaches, hoping our players get to experience that competition in front of so many fans.”
    Davidson and Pyle finished the tournament with a record of 3-1 for the second place trophy.
    The Hortons, meanwhile, captured third with a 4-1 record, defeating Tucker Hoover and Sam Camp of Winfield in straight sets 6-0, 6-2. Gayer called it the brother combination’s best match of the year.
    “They really served and volleyed the very well,” Gayer said. “It was great to see them end their season playing so well.”
    Both Connor Schafer (2-2) and Dylan Stos (0-2) were eliminated from the tournament on Friday.
    The Pups finished in third place with 32 team points, three points away from the second-place team Topeka Hayden. Host Wichita Collegiate took the team championship with 42 points. Hesston was fourth with 28.
    For Gayer, it marked the end of an era, as he is stepping away from coaching at the end of the year. Assistant coach Tyler Brown has already taken the helm of the girls tennis program and is in the running to take over the boys, as well.
    “I want to thank my parents for all their great support and the many fans who came down to support the team,” Gayer said. “To my players down through the years, thanks for making me look good with your sweat and tears.
    Page 2 of 2 - “The memories are awesome.”

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