Nick Mathis didn’t start really playing tennis until his sophomore year.
Now the Lee’s Summit North senior is part of the first boys tennis team in school history to claim a district title.
Mathis claimed a doubles victory with partner Logan Leslie and won his No. 2 singles match to give the Broncos the necessary five wins and clinch a 5-2 victory over rival Lee’s Summit West in the Class 2 District 9 team finals Friday at Lee’s Summit North High School.
Mathis and Leslie downed Hogan Stoker and Jackson Huertin 8-5 to win at No. 2 doubles. He then downed Jeremy Zurbuchen 7-6 (6), 6-0 for the decisive win.
“Nick has put in so much time on his tennis game. He didn't really start playing until his sophomore year and hasn't put down a tennis racket since,” Broncos coach Stu Reece said. “It was great to see him have a chance to take us to victory. We have come close quite a few times, but just never seemed to have the complete lineup needed to get the job done. This year, we are very solid and very deep. That's what it takes to make a long postseason run.”
Joe Hammerly and Matthew DeBacker won 8-5 at No. 1 singles as the Broncos took a 2-1 lead after doubles play.
DeBacker (6-0, 6-3) and Michael Welsh (6-2, 7-6) also completed singles wins to set up Mathis’ deciding victory. Leslie and Lukas Parrish were also leading their matches when play was halted.
Lee’s Summit North, which hosts the Class 2 District 9 individual tournament Saturday, advances to the team sectional against Springfield Central at 9 a.m. May 18. Springfield Kickapoo and Joplin will meet in the other sectional and the winners will meet in the state quarterfinal following the completion of the sectional matches.