Sailor tennis heads into second weekend after successful first tournament
Steamboat Springs — Maybe it was only beginner’s luck for rookie head coach Jack Burger, but the Steamboat Springs High School boys’ tennis team definitely made a good impression in its first tournament of the fall season.
“The first couple of matches were a huge success. I couldn’t be prouder of the guys for the effort they displayed,” Burger said. “It’s been so much fun. I’ve been having a blast. Hopefully, we’ve been bringing energy to the program a little bit. Guys seem like they’re having fun.”
Burger, a 2011 SSHS graduate, recently returned to coach his alma mater after graduating from Colorado College in Colorado Springs in May, where he played collegiately for the Tigers.
The Sailors’ fall season got underway last weekend with the Lowry Bishop Invitational, a two-day tournament hosted by Fruita High School in Grand Junction. SSHS went 4-0 in its matches, tying for first place overall.
“It came down to number of sets won, and I think we lost by one set to Fossil Ridge,” Burger said. “But it was great. We were not expecting that much success for the first tournament. Hopefully, it gives these guys some confidence going into the season.”
Burger said the Sailors should be deep at singles. As it stands early in the season, Burger’s younger brother, freshman Teague Burger, is the team’s top singles player.
The Burger family is no stranger to success on the tennis court, with the three eldest boys, including Jack Burger, having played collegiately. Twins Tatum and Shae are both members of the SSHS girls’ tennis team, with Tatum having won state as a freshman in the spring.
“It’s exciting. I always have a good match to play, so it’s fun,” Teague Burger said of earning the top singles spot. “I’m really lucky to be able to have my brother as a coach.”
Currently, junior Charlie Smith is the team’s No. 2 singles player, and recent Steamboat implant Chase Adams, also a junior, is No. 3.
“Got some inexperience at No. 1 with a freshman there, but he has been coming out there really strong. He’s a super-competitive kid, and I’m really excited to see what he has,” Jack Burger said of his younger brother. “For Charlie Smith, I’m really excited to see what he can do at two. He played really well in the first tournament and has great strokes.”
The top doubles team should also be strong, with senior returners Joe Borgerding and Matthew White back for a final season. White and Smith are the team’s captains this fall.
“They’ve been working really hard, so I’m excited to see what they can do,” Jack Burger said of the No. 1 doubles team.
The Sailors will begin their second weekend of action today with a match against Durango, before returning to Grand Junction for another tournament Friday and Saturday.
“This tournament is really good,” Jack Burger said. “There is a bunch from Denver coming in, so I’m really looking forward to seeing these guys play some tough competition and see how they handle it.”
SSHS’s first home matches are scheduled for Sept. 11 against Aspen and Vail Mountain at The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.
To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email acolbert@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert
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