Discovery Canyon senior Luke Lorenz made his final state tennis appearance memorable last week when he won the Class 4A No. 1 singles title Oct. 12 at Pueblo City Park.
Lorenz defeated long-time rival David Mitchell of Kent Denver in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4, to claim the title - his first in four attempts at the state tournament.
Lorenz seemingly cruised through the three-day tournament, winning twice on Oct. 10 to advance to the semifinals. On Oct. 11 he defeated Mullen's Connor Arend, 7-5, 6-0, to move on to the finals.
Lorenz's state championship brought praise from Palmer Ridge coach Skip Wells.
“It's a phenomenal accomplishment,” Wells said. “Luke is very humble. Easy going. A classy guy.”
Lorenz had never defeated Mitchell in eight previous matches, including twice this season. Mitchell was the 2011 state champion and runner-up last season.
The two battled back and forth in the first set and were tied five games apiece. Lorenz broke the tie when he broke Mitchell at love for a 6-5 advantage. Lorenz trailed by two points in the deciding set, but served out for the victory, including an ace to clinch the set.
In the second set, Lorenz took control at two games to one and never looked back.
Lorenz was the only Discovery Canyon player to advance to state.
Lewis-Palmer was represented by seven players; No. 1 singles Jared Stuart, No. 2 singles Nolan Rademacher, No. 3 singles Thomas Gregory; No. 1 doubles JK Balk and Brennan Stuart, and the No. 2 doubles team of David Meleski and Kyle Flinn. Everybody lost in the first round.
Stuart, a senior, lost to Pueblo Central's Steven Alcala, 6-2, 6-3. Rademacher, a freshman, lost to Niwot's Allen Fu, 6-1, 6-2. Gregory, a senior, lost to Niwot's Drew Pasma, 6-0, 6-1.
“There usually aren't any weak spots when you get to state,” said Lewis-Palmer coach Paul Kardell. “I fully expected to win some matches and some first rounds. It didn't work out that way this year.”
Palmer Ridge had four state qualifiers; the No. 3 doubles team of freshmen Zach Wilcox and Drake Wilson, and the No. 4 doubles team of sophomores Ricky Wilcox and Marc-Andre Lacrampe.
Zach Wilcox and Wilson won a first-round match, defeating a duo from Fountain Valley, 7-5, 7-6. The Palmer Ridge freshmen lost in the quarterfinals to Niwot, 6-3, 6-3.
Ricky Wilcox and Marc-Andre Lacrampe lost their first-round match.
“It's nice to get a point and win down there,” Wells said. “It gives our guys a taste of the big dance.”
The Bears could land a number of players at state in the coming years. Of the 36 players on their team this season, only seven were juniors and seniors.
“We have a very good young team,” Wells said. “I'm excited about the future.”