AHS `schooled’ at invitational | AspenTimes.com

AHS `schooled’ at invitational

Aspen Times Staff Report

In coach Sherril Kerr’s words, the Aspen High boys tennis team was “schooled” over the weekend at the Western Slope Invitational, a tourney hosted by Grand Junction Central High School at Mesa State College.

“I have a very young team and I believe the word would be `schooled,'” said Kerr. “Yes. That’s it. They learned a lot.”

In a field of 18 schools, including several Class 5A powers like Cherry Creek, Durango, Fruita Monument, Grand Junction and GJ Central, Aspen finished in 14th. Which, considering the competition, Kerr was pleased with.

“We knew it was going to be a tall order going in,” she said. “The freshman and sophomores had never been exposed to that level of play before, and that’s basically what I’ve got is young players, so it was good for them.

“And they got games off these teams – they weren’t threatening to win sets or matches, but they weren’t being blanked either. You’ve got to look for the small victories.”

Lasse Siedenburg, Aspen’s German-exchange No. 1 singles player, posted the best result for Aspen by winning the consolation finals for third place. “And that’s quite awesome considering he’s up against the best players from 18 different schools,” Kerr said.

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Aspen’s No. 2 and 3 singles players, Glenn Engelmann and Will Otte, respectively, both lost in the semifinals to get to the consolation finals, a fate shared by Aspen’s No. 4 doubles team of Andy McCracken and Himata Rutger. “That’s a good achievement for all those kids,” Kerr said.

“We didn’t have a chance to play any of the Steamboat players, our main rivals in the region, so that was a bummer,” Kerr said. “Instead, we played Cherry Creek and you just have to look at that as a good learning experience.”

Until a few years ago, Cherry Creek had won 24 consecutive state championships. The team also won the team title at the Western Slope Invitational, followed by Green Mountain.