Blue Springs South's Scherer follows in family footsteps in Summit Slam tournament
Stu Reece was in his element.
The Lee’s Summit North High School tennis coach was sitting under a small tent that provided some shade from the sun that was trying to peer through some hazy clouds.
The Broncos tennis courts were full of players who were participating in the Summit Slam tournament, part of the KC Summer Slam series that also has stops at Blue Springs South, Staley and Liberty North high schools.
One by one, players were either checking onto a court or giving the longtime Broncos coach their scores as parents, family members and friends watched the action.
“The great thing about this,” Reece said, “is that we have brackets for every type of player – from novice girls and boys who are 10 or 11 years old, to varsity high school players.
“For $15, they can come to one of the tournaments – and we have them all over the metro area – and get in some good competition during the summer.”
The tournament at North was a big success, even though, for the first time in tournament history, an entire day was washed out due to rain and lightning.
“We had over 200 kids sign up here at North,” Reece said, “and unfortunately, not all of them were able to participate in the entire tournament.
“Thursday was rained out – for the first time ever – and we had to carry over into Friday, which we didn’t want to do because of jobs and vacations. But everyone seems to be having a good time, we’ve seen a lot of good tennis and the players are getting an opportunity to play at a high level during the summer.”
Blue Springs South junior Nathan Scherer enjoyed a great deal of success at the tournament as he teamed with Will Ogrizovich to finish third in doubles action with a 3-1 record.
Scherer reached the quarterfinals in singles, finishing with a 2-1 mark.
“This has been awesome,” said Scherer, whose first year of high school tennis was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic. “I wasn’t able to play at South my freshman year because of the pandemic, and I got some varsity playing time this spring.
“So, having a tournament like this is amazing. I get to play doubles, and that was a lot of fun, and get to work on my singles game, too.”
Scherer follows a long line of family members on the South team as his brother Grant graduated in 2016 and his sisters Anna and Lily, who were born 10 months apart, graduated in 2019.
“I was the pesky little brother who always wanted my older brother and sisters to play with me,” Scherer said, grinning, “and luckily for me, they did.
“About eighth grade I got serious about the sport and started taking lessons and here I am, playing in this tournament and really enjoying high school tennis.”
For a complete list of finishers, go to KCSummerslam.com.