After winning two invitationals only a few weeks into the season, the McPherson High School boys tennis team has been awarded the Great Plains Federal Credit Union Team of the Week, as presented by the McPherson Sentinel.
"It feels good to get an award like this. It means that you're doing pretty well," Bullpups head coach Tyler Brown said.
Both wins came at the Goddard Invitational and at home in the McPherson Invitational. In their win at the McPherson Invitational, they dominated other teams by putting up 66 points. Brown loves the aggressiveness he sees from his players.
"They're striking it well and having clean contact with the ball which always nice. We still need to improve our footwork and not be satisfied in getting the racket on the ball. The prep work just needs to be improved on," Brown said.
With 29 players on the roster, the team is loaded with young talent, which senior Kaden Stewart loves. Some players lack experience on the tennis court, but he sees the improvement each day from them.
"It's perseverance and getting better. A lot of players that we have are playing for the first time. I just see a lot of perseverance. It's a struggle at first to start tennis. But a lot of them have put in the hard work every day," Stewart said.
McPherson has been dealing with high winds and cold weather to start their season. Despite the elements, it doesn't really bother the team.
"I don't really think it phases us a whole lot. It's Kansas tennis. If we didn't have a day that was 20-mile-per-hour wind, we'll be kind of shocked. We're kind of use to it, but it would be nicer if it was a little bit warmer," Brown said.
Nolan Schrader, a senior, believes the improvement he saw that stood out to him is from the No. 2 doubles, even from last season.
"I think our No. 2 doubles has really raised their level. We saw them improve a lot from last year," Schrader said.
What stood out for Andrew Snell, a senior, is their way of coming through during crunch time.
"It's our ability to take care of business and stay focused. We had two meets that came down to the wire and we came through in clutch situations, especially at Goddard," Snell said.
The Bullpups will head back to Goddard for another varsity match. They will be facing teams like Derby High School, Eisenhower High School, Goddard High School, Maize South High School, Wichita-Northwest High School.
Unfortunately, the Bullpups will be without two of their three seniors because the match and the McPherson High School prom are scheduled for the same day.
Stewart is confident that they have a chance to make it far in the postseason.
"Our two top singles guys will be there. If they could make it to the quarters or even the semifinals at that meet, I think it means that we're doing pretty well," Stewart said.
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_