By Don Eskins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
The Joplin High School Eagles jumped out in front of an 18 team field early on Tuesday and then never looked back as they cruised to a 2019 Springfield Tennis Invitational Championship at the Cooper Tennis Complex.
The Eagles dominated the tournament from start to finish winning both singles and doubles titles en route to picking up this year’s team championship.
Earning first place medals for the Eagles were Garret Lewis in singles play and Asa Borup and Kaden Seward in doubles competition.
Joplin scored 31 points to easily outdistance the runner-up Springfield Catholic Fightin Irish, who tallied 24, to earn this year’s title. Finishing third were the Glendale Falcons 22.5, fourth the Nixa Eagles 21.5 and fifth the Jefferson City Jays 21.
“Our boys have been working very hard this year. They’ve had a great start on the season and they have been very excited about the prospects of participating in this year’s Springfield Invitational,” said Eagle head coach Ed Ingle. “I was hoping they would play hard and do well today so it was great to be able to watch them experience so much success out on the courts. I’m really proud of them.”
Senior Garret Lewis, who has spent a lot of hours out on the tennis courts this year, says the 2019 season is for him a very special one.
“This is a big year for me and I want to work as hard as I can to make it a successful one,” said Lewis. “But as important a season as it is I’m still approaching it just one game at a time.”
“Garret means a lot to this team. He’s our captain, our leader and he motivates everybody to play harder,” said Ingle. “He’s always very business-like on the courts and we’re just very lucky to have him.”
Lewis finished fourth at state last year and will play tennis for Rockhurst University next year.
Also showing well at the Springfield Invitational were the Catholic Fightin Irish. The Irish, despite dropping some big matches to Joplin, competed well.
“I couldn’t be happier. We knew that Joplin was going to be really tough but our kids competed well against an overall good field today,” said Catholic head coach Justin Fravel. “It was also nice to see our kids get to compete against some area teams that they don’t see that much of throughout the season. The experience gained today by our kids was really important.”
No. 1 Garret Lewis (Joplin) defeated No. 2 Luke Steiner (Catholic) 8-0; No. 3 Josh Wilde (Jeff City) defeated No. 4 Payton LaFever (Glendale) 8-8 7-1.
No. 1 Asa Borup and Kaden Seward (Joplin) defeated No. 2 Bennett Satterlee and Nick Malles (Joplin) 9-7; No. 3 Luke Mulder and Justin Battaglia (Ozark) defeated No. 4 Tanner Barnes and Mark Meads (Nixa) 6-2.
Top 5 Teams
1. Joplin- 31, 2. Springfield Catholic- 24, 3. Glendale- 22.5, 4. Nixa- 21.5 and 5. Jefferson City- 21.