Jackson Scott played his type of tennis on Sept. 17 in the finals of the Region 5 boys tennis tournament at the Heritage High School tennis courts.
Scott, Heritage's No. 3 singles player, recorded a straight-set victory to win the regional championship and the Eagles captured the regional team title.
“I played pretty good,” said Scott. “I finally played my game which was good. Previously I strayed away from my game. I was just trying to hit the ball hard and just trying to hit winners. Now I'm playing more consistent.”
The top two individuals and teams in all seven divisions of the regionals advance to the state tournament, so all that was to be determined in the Region 5 finals were state seedings and regional championships.
Heritage qualified all 11 of its players and had two singles players and four doubles teams emerge as regional champions,
“There's no doubt we feel good about how we played,” said Heritage coach Chad Hanson. “Maybe the best way to put it is that we are happy but not satisfied. The goal is to get better every day and not just to win regionals but to compete at the state tournament. This was a step in that progress.”
Regional champions will be seeded one-through-eight for the state tournament while the second-place finishers will get the nine-16 seeds.
“The regional was to decide who is regional champ in each position and as a team to win the regional championship,” said Hanson. “If you win the region you get a top eight seed and if you don't you get a bottom eight seed. That makes a lot of difference. It is a real important because you want to make sure you get a top eight seed so you can play a bottom eight seed in the first round. You have a better chance of moving on.”
Besides Scott, the Eagles' No. 1 singles player Chase Walters won a three-set regional finale and all four doubles teams were crowned regional champs.
The No.1 doubles duo of Logan Dailey and Zach Marshall prevailed in the regional finals as did the Eagles' No. 2 doubles team of Sam Ament and Mason Helms, the No. 3 combination of Zach Crum and James Zieper and the No.4 combo of Caleb Jessen and Lars Lundberg.
The Class 5A state tournament will be held Oct. 25-26 at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver.
Hanson tried to answer the question about the keys to a successful showing at the state tournament.
“No doubt that returning serve is a huge key, because those players, maybe the biggest thing that sets them apart is their serves,” he related. “They all can serve. The second thing would be no fear. You have to play without fear. You are going to have to move in when the ball is coming right at you and play fearless.”
The modified state tournament will be two days instead of three and there will be no playbacks.
“There's no playbacks this year so seedings are going to be big,” said Scott.
“You need to play your best and don't let the other team effect how you play. And pretty much just have fun too. It's not very often you get to go to state.”
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