Arapahoe’s team lined up for a picture after the girls state tennis tournament at the Gates Tennis and held up a sign that proclaimed `Tate the Great.’
Tate is Tate Schroeder.
She is the Arapahoe sophomore who won the Class 5A No. 1 singles championship on May 10 with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Loveland’s defending state champion Rebecca Weissmann.
Schroeder’s friend Caroline Carman made the sign that the Warriors displayed in their post-tournament team photo.
“I didn’t know she was going to make the sign,” confessed Schroeder. “She came to watch my match. She made a couple signs. They were double-sided. On one said it said `Tate the Great’ and on the other side it said `Tate for State.’ I just loved it.”
Schroeder, who has been nothing short of great, has been named the Colorado Community Media South Metro Girls Player of the Year.
Warriors coach Andrzej Sosnowski wasn’t surprised by the honor or the support shown for Schroeder because she dedicated the season to Claire Davis, the student who was killed in a Dec. 13 shooting at Arapahoe.
“Tate is very much a team player,” said Sosnowski. “I can’t speak about the other girls she competes against but when the rest of her team is playing she is always on the side of the court and watching them and encouraging them. She could be by herself but she’s so much of a team player. She got a good sense of humor. I’m so proud of her attitude. On the court she’s so focused but off the court she has time for other people.”
On the court, Schroeder was nearly unbeatable this season. She was 12-1 with the lone loss a three-set setback in April to Cheyenne Mountain’s Kalyssa Hall, the winner of the Class 4A No. 1 singles title.
“Tate is a very dynamic player,” Sosnowski said. “She’s very aggressive in the way that she plays. She really stays focused when she plays. She attacks the ball a lot and puts pressure on her opponent right from the very first ball. She thrives on pace.
“She might prefer her forehand a little more than her backhand but she’s able to hit winners with both her forehand and backhand. In the last year she’s been working a lot of her serve. So her serve is quite a weapon. She’s a workhorse on the court. She always gives 100 percent. There’s not a slow gear with her.”
Schroeder, the daughter of Denver Broncos cheerleader director Teresa Shear, claims patience has been her biggest improvement this season.
“I was a lot more patient this year,” she said. “I waited for the right shot and the right opportunity. That’s something I’ve been working on for a long time. I’m glad it got to show at the state tournament.
“I thought it was a great year. I made a lot of new memories and I had a great team. We got third in state, which is the best in school history. I was undefeated in 5A. I was really happy with the results.”
Schroeder and Weissmann were recently selected to the National High School Tennis All-American Foundation team. Both players are sophomores, but many elite players skip high school tennis to play in national tournaments.
Schroeder hasn’t decided if she will play for Arapahoe as junior.
“I’m not sure right now,” she said. “There are a lot of important tournaments during the time of the high school tennis and junior year is an important year for recruitment.
“This season was great because the girl I beat (Weissmann) in the finals was No. 18 in the nation. That gave me a good thing to send out to college coaches. High school tennis doesn’t count toward your regular ranking. A lot of college coaches look more at your national ranking than high school tennis.”