By Travis Smola
“Caledonia was unbelievable.” That was the only way Vicksburg varsity boys’ tennis coach Warner Offord could describe how his team played at the Caledonia Invitational tournament at the end of August.
The boys ended up taking first in the tournament that saw a Bulldogs sweep in singles action. Junior Ayden Flickinger won first singles, and seniors Corbin Wallace, Jonathan Perkins and Sam Gearig took second, third and fourth singles respectively. “These are probably the best singles guys I’ve had all at once,” Offord said.
Doubles action was similarly dominant as seniors Jacob Henderson and David Rutt took the number one doubles. The team of sophomore Andrew Reno and senior Kevin Veld won second doubles. Junior Seth Crabtree and senior Ricky Laham won the third doubles. In the fourth doubles, the sophomore team of Zach Meyers and Garrett Patnoude finished a close second.
“Each day we come out we’re doing better and better,” Offord said right before the boys competed in a quad tournament against Coldwater, Comstock Park and Lakeshore. The Bulldogs later won that tournament too. Once again, it was on the strength of their talented group of senior singles stars.
In their most recent matchup against Edwardsburg, those senior stars swept the rival Eddies. Victories by the number two and four doubles helped cement a 6-2 Vicksburg win in that matchup. The team also has victories over Armada, Paw Paw and Loy Norrix this season.
The team very nearly got in on a tie for first in the Hamilton Invitational too but fell just one point short. Most of the team’s big competition this year will be from Conference foes like Allegan who have defeated the Bulldogs already this year. “That regional is going to be really tough,” Offord said. “We don’t know who is going to come out of that.”
But Offord and the team are relishing the opportunity to get another chance at Allegan and all their conference rivals, especially as the teams starts facing more of them in the latter half of the season.