RUNNER UP: Keyser, Frankfort bring home tennis trophies
CHARLESTON - After a successful regional tennis tournament that saw the Keyser and Frankfort boys’ tennis squads finish first and second as teams respectively, individual qualifying members from both squads traveled to Charleston for the state tennis tournament, held June 3 through June 5.
While nobody walked away as a state champion, Keyser had a doubles team and singles player that finished as a state runner up. Frankfort had a doubles team finish as a state runner-up well.
Advancing to the class AA-A state title match from Keyser was the number three doubles team of Stone Kesner and Bryson Bush, and number four singles player Kaleb Kitzmiller. Advancing to the class AA-A state title match from Frankfort was the number two doubles team of Kyle Shumaker and Bryson Lane.
Play was held over a three-day span that saw rain force play indoors the first two days on Thursday and Friday. The YMCA of Kanawha, located in Charleston, hosted the indoor play. Saturday, play moved outside as originally planned for the championship matches and was conducted at the Charleston Catholic Players Club.
Claiming the team state championship on the boys’ side was Williamstown High School of Wood County. Totaling 14 points, the Yellow Jackets claimed two singles prizes and two doubles prizes to win the program’s first state title since 2014. Parkersburg Catholic finished in second place.
Claiming the team state championship on the girls’ side was Charleston Catholic High School of Kanawha County. Charleston Catholic dominated, finishing with 13 points from winning a grand total of five of the six state title matches in claiming the tournament hardware. It’s the program’s first state title since 2013. Logan and Chapmanville finished tied for second place with nine points.
Mineral County was scheduled to have one participant on the girls’ side, number one singles player Erin Clark from Frankfort, who finished as the regional runner-up. Unfortunately, Clark was unable to attend due to illness.
In total, the Keyser boys qualified three singles players and three doubles teams for state competition, with all competing in Charleston. Singles players included number two singles Alec Stanislawczyk, number three singles Hunter Powell, and number four singles Kaleb Kitzmiller. Doubles teams included number one doubles Dylan Wilson and Alec Stanislawczyk, number two doubles Hunter Powell and Kaleb Kitzmiller, and number three doubles Stone Kesner and Bryson Bush.
Alec Stanislawczyk began play by defeating Elijah Ellis of Westside 8-0. Stanislawczyk then fell to Luke Tankersley of St. Joseph 8-1.
Hunter Powell began play by defeating Ross Simon of Bluefield 8-4. Powell then fell to Tyler Fenton of Williamstown 6-2. 6-0.
Kaleb Kitzmiller began play by defeating Ty Beggs of Bluefield 7-5, 6-1, to advance to the title match. In the title match, Kitzmiller fell to Will Rice of Winfield to finish as state runner-up.
The doubles team of Dylan Wilson and Alec Stanislawczyk began play by defeating Williams Matthews and Soloman Mitchell of Bluefield of 8-6. Wilson and Stanislawczyk then fell to Gavin Bosgraf and Austin Bosgraf of Williamstown 8-5.
The doubles team of Hunter Powell and Kaleb Kitzmiller started play with a forfeit win over Andrew Stafford and Ilya Vitvitsky of Shady Spring. Powell and Kitzmiller then fell to Xavier Collie and Carrick Roberts of Parkersburg Catholic 6-3, 6-4.
The doubles team of Stone Kesner and Bryson Bush opened play by defeating Joseph DiChristofaro and Trevin Short of Bluefield 6-0, 6-0 to advance to the title match. In the title match, Kesner and Bush fell to Tyler Fenton and Matthew Easter of Williamstown 6-1, 6-0.
In total, the Frankfort boys’ team qualified two singles players and one doubles team for state competition, with all competing in Charleston. Singles players included number one singles Landon Moorehead and number two singles Jake Clark. The doubles team consisted of number two doubles Kyle Shumaker and Bryson Lane.
Landon Moorehead began play by defeating Williams Matthews of Bluefield 9-7. Moorehead then fell to Austin Bosgraf of Williamstown 8-4 in the second round.
Jake Clark earned a bye in the first round and advanced to play Riley Reed of Logan in the second round. Reed defeated Clark 8-0.
In doubles play, Kyle Shumaker and Bryson Lane defeated Ty Beggs and Ross Simon of Bluefield 8-3 in the first round. In round two, Shumaker and Lane defeated Rainer Hall and Ethan McIntyre of Williamstown 7-5 in a third set tie break to advance to the championship match. In the title match, Shumaker and Lane fell to Carrick Roberts and Xavier Collie 6-2. 6-4.
Despite neither Keyser or Frankfort coming away from the state tournament without a state championship won, either by team, singles or doubles, the two squads represented Mineral County well.
First in the fact that the schools combined to qualify five singles players and four doubles teams for the event. Second in the fact that once there, one singles player and two doubles teams competed in state title matches.
Of particular note is the fact that both squads have the vast majority of their squads returning next season. In fact, out of all the state qualifiers from Keyser and Frankfort, only Stone Kesner of Keyser and Jake Clark of Frankfort are now lost to graduation.
With the bulk of these state qualifiers returning, and rosters full of other returners who came close to qualifying, the future of tennis in Mineral County is red hot.