Steamboat tennis bound for state |

Steamboat tennis bound for state

Jim Patterson

Steamboat Springs No. 1 singles tennis player Charlie Smith returns a shot during a match against Grand Junction Saturday. The Sailors won the match, later losing to Kent Denver. The matches marked the final regular season play for the Sailors, who will compete at regionals in Grand Junction next weekend.

— The Steamboat Springs High School tennis team is bound for state after winning the Class 4A Region 8 tournament Friday in Grand Junction.

According to Sailors coach Joseph O’Dell, all 11 players on the Steamboat team qualified for state, which is slated for Oct. 13 to 15 in Pueblo.

O’Dell expressed pride in his team’s efforts Friday, particularly considering that all of the Sailors’ finals matches were against Aspen, which is ranked No. 1 in Region 8 and has twice bested the Sailors during the regular season.

“We played Aspen twice during the season, and we lost twice — 2-5 and 1-6,” O’Dell said. “We beat them 4-3 today. This gives us tons of confidence for state.”

In No. 1 singles, Charlie Smith took second place in the Class 4A Regional 8 tournament and qualified for state.

No. 2 and No. 3 singles players — Chase Adams and Nolan Connell, respectively — also qualified for state with second place finishes at regionals.

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On the doubles side, the No. 1 team of Ethan Paulau and Max Lynch won first place at regionals and qualified for state.

The No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 teams — comprised of River Fox-Welch and Wyatt Stempel, Jack Bender and Peter Wharton and Ray Lundeen and Gabe Rabanal, respectively — each took first place at regionals, as well, and also qualified for state.

Despite Steamboat’s second-place finishes in the singles divisions, O’Dell was pleased with his team’s performance and confident about the upcoming state tournament.

“They played some of the best singles players in the state,” he said. “We were super happy about the way we played, and we’re looking forward to state.”

To reach Jim Patterson, call 970-871-4208, email or follow her on Twitter @JimPatterson15