Boys tennis advances to 6A tournament

Caleb Day

Five tennis players advanced to the Class 6A tournament on Friday and Saturday at Shawnee Mission East.

Qualifying that many players is impressive in any season, but especially after the 2020 season to Covid-19.

“It feels great,” said junior Scott Simmons, who qualified in doubles with sophomore Isaak Bowman. “After our season got canceled last year, I wanted to make sure we made it this year. It feels good to make up for a lost year.”

Junior Alex Hedden agreed.

“It was an accomplishment,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting to go this year, but my brother and I became a really solid doubles team, which lead us to state.”

Hedden paired with his brother, Colby, a sophomore.

“It feels really good because my doubles partner and I had some struggles throughout the season,” Colby Hedden said. “And to see us working hard and it paying off is the best feeling ever.”

Junior Evan Franke qualified in singles.

“It feels amazing,” he said. “My goal was to go to state, but I honestly didn’t think I had a chance. But I made it.”