Sophomore Dylan Shryer paid his Blue Springs High School tennis coach Anna Cole the ultimate compliment following a wind-swept, 7-2 Wildcats win over William Chrisman Thursday afternoon at Baumgardner Park in Blue Springs.
“We won today for Coach Cole,” said Shryer, who moved from his No. 2 singles to No. 1 singles position as Luke David missed the match to perform in Washington, D.C., with the Golden Regiment marching band.
“She has had so much faith and so much confidence in us and she gave us a great pep talk before the match today and went wanted to win for her. And she’s not going to be our head coach next year, so we all want to make this year special for her because she cares so much about all of us.”
Cole is taking on the added responsibility of being the student senate sponsor at Blue Springs next year, so she is stepping down as head coach but will remain as an assistant tennis coach.
“I am beyond ecstatic with how we played today,” said Cole, as a custodial crew came out to repair the wind screens on the court that were flapping wildly in the 40 mph wind gusts.
“This is my fourth year – and my last year as head coach because I am going to be a student senate sponsor next year – and we’ve gone from no wins, to 1-2 and this year we are 3-1 and the boys are playing great.
“We were all concerned about playing without Luke and Dylan has moved up to No. 1 and done a great job. With the wind and the weather and a very good Bears team, I am so proud of how our guys played!”
Shryer beat Sam Hawley 8-4 at No. 1 singles, followed by Josh Gordon edging Adam Hamilton 9-8 (9-7), Jay’Von McKinney topping Caysen Woods 8-6, Daniel Gordon getting past Colton Kerr 8-1 and Jake Reed winning 8-4 over Sam Foster.
Reed’s win clinched the victory for the Wildcats.
“It’s always cool to have the win that wins it all for your team,” Reed said.
Shryer and Gordon won 8-4 at No. 1 doubles and Carson Rothove and Reed won 8-4 at No. 3 doubles.
The Bears’ Branden Kuhlman won at No. 4 singles 8-6 and he teamed with Jordan Twenter for an 8-4 win at No. 2 doubles.
“Our guys played well today and we survived the weather,” said Bears coach Jason Grubb, who wore a T-shirt and shorts, despite the cold, windy conditions. “We’re getting better every match and I love working with and teaching these guys.”