Almost one-third of the 30+ players on the Republic tennis roster are seniors, and the team is so deep that many of them haven’t played at the varsity level — until Wednesday. On Senior Night, the Tigers posted an all-senior lineup against Hillcrest, and still managed to earn an 8-1 victory over the Hornets.
All eleven seniors were honored before play began. Five of them — Tyler Morgan, Josh Martin, Michael Cox, Zach Martin, and Jax Tapar — went on to earn their first career varsity wins.
“They have been a big part of building the tradition of our program … two district championships, two COC championships, winning the Mount Vernon Tournament three times, the Waynesville Tournament, the Republic Tournament twice–all these things we hadn’t done before,” coach Dan Vales says of his senior class.
And Vales says the fact that so many seniors remain on a packed roster, despite a lack of varsity spots, says something about Republic’s tennis program.
“I think it’s a testament that these guys are really enjoying themselves and being part of a team, because I think some of these guys were aware they were going to come out and maybe wouldn’t make varsity,” Vales says. “And I think that just shows they’ve come to enjoy the game of tennis and want to be part of that, and just like being part of the team. It’s been great to have them around.”
The overall varsity team record improves to 7-1. JV is 4-0 on the year.
1. Joseph Terry / Austin Hemmingway d. (R) Tyler Morgan / Kristian Lummis 8-6
2. Josh Martin / Michael Cox (R) d. Thomas Sterpe / Hunter Stillwell 8-4
3. Zach Martin / Jax Tapar (R) d. Tyler Warning / Payden Price 8-5
1. Hunter Creek (R) d. Joseph Terry 8-1
2. Dylan Mackey (R) d. Austin Hemingway 8-0
3. Brett Carpenter (R) d. Thomas Sterpe 8-1
4. Logan Elder (R) d. Hunter Stillwell 8-0
5. Austin Massey (R) d. Tyler Warning 8-0
6. Tyler Morgan (R) d. Payden Price 8-2
First varsity wins for Tyler Morgan, Josh Martin, Michael Cox, Zach Martin and Jax Tapar.