State tennis opens Wednesday
First serve for state tennis is on Wednesday at the Koch Tennis Center in Omaha. Columbus High will be looking to shock the rest of the field when they compete in singles and doubles tournaments.
Adam Kamrath is the No. 1 singles competitor, Colin Flyr is the No. 2 singles competitor, Coden Prokopec and Dawson Dreifurst are the No. 1 doubles competitors and Connor Wiehn and Cole Wilcox are the No. 2 doubles competitors for the Discoverers.
This season’s results haven’t looked great on paper for CHS. Kamrath has gone 21-20 in singles, Flyr went 2-10 in the regular season, Coden and Dawson compiled an 0-9 record and Wiehn and Wilcox finished 5-21 when paired together.
The tournament is single elimination seeding the top 12 players or teams. The rest of the competitors are placed in the tournament by a random draw.
“Well I didn’t think we got too bad of draws,” said head coach Scott Bethune in an interview Tuesday evening. “I know (Kamrath) plays Omaha Northwest, and that should be a good match for him that he should walk away with a win from, and then he gets to move on and play the No. 2 kid in the state, which he has played before and played tough.
“But at least that first round we got a good shot to get some team points there. (Flyr) also got a good draw. He’s also set up for an opening round win if he plays to the top of his game. The doubles, both of them got tougher draws, but definitely matches they can win. They just have to be very crisp in their games to start off the day.
Both doubles teams are set to face seeded teams in the first round of the playoffs. Both Flyr and Kamrath will face top three seeded teams if they win in the first round.
“I told my kids, ‘We’re not the favorites by any means to go far in the tournament,’. We have nothing to lose, so you just go there play your normal game, play loose and anything can happen. Anybody can win on any given day. I’ve seen seeded teams get beat right away in Round 1 because they weren’t ready to go. Anything can happen, so you just have to go out there and play, and what happens, happens.”
Kamrath has put together the most impressive season out of any of the Discoverers, but playing the No. 2 player in the state in the second round, it looks like his chances of making a deep playoff run might be slim.
“The ceiling for (Kamrath) might be Round 2,” Bethune said. “He’s played that kid from Lincoln East before. That kid is a senior and he’s a legitimate top contender for the title in No. 1 singles. On paper that’s where his ceiling is at, but two out of three sets, any given day, he can go in there, shock this kid and win and move on from there.”
The tournament was originally set to be played Thursday and Friday, but like many sports this past week, Mother Nature had other plans.
“The concern was that Friday is going to be a chance of rain in Omaha, and so, therefore, they didn’t want to have to deal with that, and they thought Wednesday, Thursday would be our better two-day option weatherwise,” Bethune said. “They have to wait for the course to dry, so hopefully this rain stops, but with the cooler temps it may not be dry by the time we need to start. So then they would just delay it until the courts are dry. I think either way, Round 1 is happening (Wednesday) at some point at least.”
Despite the long odds, Bethune said that this tournament is what the team has been working towards all season.
“The kids are ready to go, and it’s been a long season. This is what they’ve worked for is this state competition,” he said. “Play loose, and go out there and have fun, do your best and leave it all out on the court.”
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sports at Columbus Telegram.