Two doubles teams for Durango High School qualified for the CHSAA Class 4A Boys Tennis Championships this week in Pueblo. On Monday, a third doubles team learned it also would make the trip.
The No. 1 doubles team of Luke Jernigan and Tommy Rodgers learned they would make the trip Monday as an alternate. They will join the No. 3 doubles team of Elias Fiddler and Joe Lawton and No. 4 doubles squad of Noah Pritchard and Corbin Reiter on the trip, as well as No. 1 singles player Ethan Criag.
“We were really excited because it meant our season wasn’t over,” Jernigan said of learning he and Rodgers would go to state. “It’s our senior year, Tommy and I get to go back to state. We were competitive at regionals but just didn’t come away with the win we needed, so it’s good to have another opportunity.”
Rodgers also has state-level experience as a lacrosse star, but he said he is more nervous for state tennis than he was for lacrosse.
“It’s definitely more nerve-wracking,” Rodgers said. “The stakes are higher. We’re an underdog in this.”
Reiter is a senior partnering with Pritchard, a freshman. It’s the first trip to state for both players, and Pritchard said he hopes for a fun experience and a win.
“My fourth year, it’s so exciting to be going finally,” Reiter said. “It’s exciting to letter after four years of tennis, and I’m pumped for this.”
Lawton also is a senior pairing with a freshman in Fiddler. Their partnership is a perfect blend of personalities.
“We pick each other up a lot,” Fiddler said. “It’s nice to have somebody so calm like Joe and then me, I get all riled up. It’s a good balance.”
Jernigan and Rodgers will face Kent Denver’s Oliver Greenwald and Alex Wimer in Round 1. Fiddler and Lawton will face Spencer Aragon and Tyler Fletcher of Pueblo West in the first round. Pritchard and Reiter will open play against Colorado Academy’s Eli Henry and Will Smart.