JASPER — The Washington Hatchets boys tennis team had their season come to a close with a 5-0 loss to the host Jasper Wildcats in the regional final. The Hatchet season comes to a close with a 21-4 record.
“You hate to finish with a loss, especially when you have a good group of seniors like we do,” said Hatchet coach Jason Johnston. “We really had a successful season and these kids can walk away knowing we accomplished a lot.”
The senior led Hatchet’s No. 1 doubles team did what they could to try and extend their season. Corey Thompson and Tyler Stoll pushed the Wildcats Luke Hochesang and Joe Kemper before falling 6-4, 6-1. “Corey and Tyler really gave them a tough match,” said Johnston.
Another senior playing his final match was No. 2 singles Jacob Luttrell. He lost 6-0, 6-0 to Jasper’s Grant Weaver.
“Our seniors set a precedent,” said Johnston. “They won their first sectional in years, beat a good Bloomfield team in the first round of the regional and got to the finals.”
Even with the seniors playing their final matches the Hatchets have some experienced players returning for next year. Sophomore Lucas Miller fell at No. 1 singles 6-0, 6-0 to Eli Seng of Jasper. Junior Michael Ramsey lost 6-0, 6-0 to Logan Mathies at No. 3 singles.
The Hatchets No. 2 doubles squad of underclassmen Jonathan Harner and Jake Bedwell were defeated by Jasper’s Ben Seng and Alex Allen 6-2, 6-0.
“This match shows our younger guys where the next level is,” said Johnston. “They know they will have some work to do in the off-season, but we’re going in the right direction.”
The coach believes the team can have more success in the future. “It’s going to be tough to replace those seniors, but we have some anxious young guys from the junior varsity that want to move up.”
Jasper will now move onto the semi-state on Saturday.
Washington will now wrap up with the knowledge that despite the accomplishments there is still more to do. “I’m proud of what our program accomplished this season,” said Johnston.
“There may be some work to do, but I like where we’re headed.”