If you blinked, you missed much of Grain Valley’s dominating 9-0 Missouri River Valley Conference West victory over visiting Odessa Tuesday afternoon.

If you blinked, you missed much of Grain Valley’s dominating 9-0 Missouri River Valley Conference West victory over visiting Odessa Tuesday afternoon.
No. 1 Michael Draper, No. 2 Derek Bowlin, No. 3 Colin Chastain and No. 5 Jake Pugh all claimed 8-0 singles wins and No. 4 and No. 5 Ryan Marrs and Dillon Perdue walked off the court with 8-2 victories.
Draper and Bowlin teamed up for an 8-0 No. 1 doubles win, followed by Chastain and Pugh, who won 8-4 at No. 2; and Marrs and Perdue, who wrapped up the match with an 8-1 triumph.
The second-year Eagles improved to 3-2 in the MRVC West  and 12-3 overall.
“I never thought we’d be this good, in just our second year,” said Pugh, who along with Marrs are the lone seniors on the team. “I think we have a team with a lot of guys who are serious about tennis, and we have a great coach.
“Coach (Randy) Draper is serious about tennis, but he’s also a lot of fun to be around. He knows when to have fun and when to be serious, and so do we.”
Randy Draper was having a blast Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s so much fun to see the guys perform like they did today,” the coach said, as the match lasted less than two hours. “I think one big difference between our team, and a lot of young teams, is that our guys started playing back in the Parks and Rec(reation) League.
“They might not have been playing competitive matches, but they had a racquet in their hand and they were getting accustomed to playing at a young age.”
And the coach said the youth on the team is good for his program.
“With three sophomores playing singles, we have the chance to be good for quite a while,” Randy Draper said. “And being so young, it sends the message to the JV players that they better get serious about their game if they want to make varsity.”
Michael Draper and Bowlin made it look easy in both their singles and doubles matches.
“I have a lot of pride every time I play, so I’m happy with how I played and how the team played,” said Michael Draper, the son of the coach. “When you win like we did today, you can’t really be at your sharpest, and sometimes you might lose your focus, because you’re winning easily.
“But that’s when you really have to work that much harder on your focus and concentration.”
Bowlin agreed.
“You have to stay focused, and it feels good when you win like we did today,” Bowlin said. “They’re a second-year team and we went out and played hard and got the win.”
Randy Draper was pleased with his singles players’ performances, and really liked what he saw from his doubles teams.
“There is so much chemistry involved in doubles,” the coach said. “I like the three teams we put out there today. I think they all have good chemistry and complement each other.
“It was just a good all-around day. The sun was shining, I didn’t have to chase my hat across the court because of the wind and the kids really played well.”