By Travis Smola
The Vicksburg varsity boys’ tennis team just barely missed sending the whole team to state at the end of the season. The Bulldogs tied for first in the Wolverine Conference tournament but finished second in the standings by just two points to perennial powerhouse Sturgis. The team finished the year with a 14-4-1 record.
At the Conference tournament Jordan Diekman was the champion in the three singles. Caden Town and Gabriel Ryer won the number two doubles. The number three doubles team of Maddox Rosalin and Colin Schramer had the season to remember for the Bulldogs as they went 25-1 on the season, their only loss coming to Chelsea. In the number four doubles, Sawyer Kite and Connor Rugg were champions.
Jackson Bowles, Jack Miller and Logan Schwenk won runner-up in the Conference tournament in the one, three, and four singles respectively. The Bulldogs ultimately finished up the year with a 6-1 conference record.
In the regional tournament, Vicksburg tied for third place behind Sturgis and Stevensville Lakeshore. Bowles won his first-round matchup in the number one singles against Otsego before he was eliminated by the eventual champion from Stevensville Lakeshore, 7-5, 6-0. In two singles, Nathan Klimek was eliminated in a battle in round one.
Diekman won the first round of the three singles soundly 6-0, 6-0 against Edwardsburg before taking on Sturgis in round two. He was eliminated there by the eventual champion 6-0, 6-0. An almost identical scenario played out for Schwenk in the four singles. He won his first matchup against his Eddies opponent 6-1, 6-0 before falling to the eventual champ from Sturgis 6-1, 6-0.
In doubles action, Harrison Barton and Luke Wilson drew Sturgis in their first-round matchup and were eliminated 6-0, 6-0, once again, by the eventual champion of the tournament. In the two doubles, Caden Town and Gabriel Ryder beat Niles 6-2, 6-1 in the first round before being eliminated 6-4, 7-5 against St. Joseph.
Rosalin and Schramer continued their incredible season in the Regional round. They faced a tough opponent in St. Joseph in the first round, but came away with the win 1-6, 6-4, 6-3. In round two they faced Niles and won handily 6-0, 6-1. They faced Stevensville Lakeshore in the championship round and came away with the 6-2, 6-0 victory and title of Regional champs.
In four doubles, Sawyer Kite and Connor Rugg faced Niles in round one and won 6-2, 6-1 to advance to round two where they took on Otsego. They also won that matchup 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the championship round. Unfortunately, they fell there to another tough Sturgis team 6-2, 6-3.
Although they fell just short of their goal of a state title, the Bulldogs still have a lot to be proud of in the 2022 season. Head Coach Warner Offord was also awarded the Regional 3-18 Coach of the Year award. And the boys earned an all-state academic achievement Division III tennis award.
By Travis Smola