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Bulldog tennis comes up short in conference meet

By Travis Smola

The Vicksburg varsity tennis team had a strong year but came up just short against Edwardsburg in District play to end the season. Previously, Head Coach Warner Offord had hoped the team had a chance at going to state.

“We had the opportunity, but we let it slip away,” Offord said.

The team had a good start to the season and down the stretch picked up a 7-1 win over Paw Paw on Sept. 23 before losing to Saint Joseph and Stevensville Lakeshore six days later.

Against the Eddies in District play, sophomore Jackson Bowles was the lone Bulldog to pick up a win, beating his Vicksburg opponent 6-3, 6-2 in the No. 2 singles. Senior Zachary Myers lost the No. 1 singles 6-1, 6-2. Senior Andrew Reno lost 6-0, 6-2 in the No. 3 singles and Jorge Cortes lost 6-3, 6-3 in the No. 4 singles.

In doubles play, Conner Rugg and Gage Stenger won by default in the No. 4 singles. Sean Kelly and Drake Steele lost 6-1, 7-6 in the No. 1 doubles. Ben Dilly and Thomas Harsha lost 6-0, 6-2 in the No. 2 doubles. Gage Bainter and Logan Schwenk put up a fight against the Eddies, but ultimately fell 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

It wasn’t the season Offord or the boys had hoped for, but there were some bright spots along the way. Offord was awarded Boys Regional 3-18 Coach of the Year by the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association. While he was excited to receive this honor, he’s already looking forward to next year, even if he anticipates it being a rebuilding year due to the loss of multiple seniors.

“It is what it is,” Offord said. “We’ll just have to wait for next year. I just hope the guys play a lot over the winter break and we can get better for next year.”

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