Strong camaraderie leads   CHS tennis to top eight finish

By PATRICK MacCOON patrick.maccoon@clevelandbanner.com
Posted 5/19/17

With an unbreakable brotherhood and killer instinct around the net, the Cleveland High School boys tennis team made for one of the most successful seasons in school history.

Bulldozing their way …

This item is available in full to subscribers

Strong camaraderie leads   CHS tennis to top eight finish

Posted

With an unbreakable brotherhood and killer instinct around the net, the Cleveland High School boys tennis team made for one of the most successful seasons in school history.

Bulldozing their way through opponents, the Blue Raiders swept both the District 5-AAA and Region 3-AAA championship tournaments. With little care for hurt feelings, they compiled a 105-3 record in singles/doubles against district competition and were 111-7 overall.

While narrowly falling 4-2 to Siegel in a sub-state match at Lee University Thursday afternoon, a top 8 finish in the state is one to be cherished by a senior-led group comprised of Veeren Patel, Jack Hughes, Adam Klibisz, Allen Swetman and Caleb Lee.

"We have known each other and been friends all the way through high school," said the No. 1 seeded Patel, who went 13-1 in singles this season and won 6-4, 6-3 against Cookeville's top seed in the region team tournament. "I was so happy we all got to play together this year and we killed it. Everybody was getting wins and we killed it in our district and region."

Extra hours put in outside of practice to go with faith and the understanding of one another's strengths all played into the best single-season winning percentage (.941) for a Cleveland tennis team ever recorded.

"This was a really special group of friends," Hughes said. "I can guarantee you that no other tennis team in Tennessee had as much fun and chemistry as we did. I loved playing with them."

For Swetman, his first season of varsity tennis was unforgettable as the standout golfer had a knack for more than just his stroke off the tee. He was named to the All-District tennis team along with Patel and Hughes.

The first-year varsity starter went undefeated in the regular season in singles with Klibisz, while Hughes and Patel were not beaten in doubles. Fifth and sixth seeds Holland and Lee did not lose a single match in singles or doubles.

"At the beginning of the season, me and Adam were not very good at doubles, but through playing together and growing our bond we got better and better through the year," Swetman said. "We finished second in the district tournament to Patel and Hughes.

It was really special to accomplish all we did as a team. In any other sport we would have been playing in Murfreesboro since we finished in the top eight."

Off the court all four seniors were standouts in the classroom and even came up with an idea to begin a comical and meme-filled team tennis page on Twitter (@CHSTENNIS1).

Swetman founded the account while mastering the tweets was left up to Patel. Some of the tweets included Swetman serving up the letter "L."

The four recent graduates, all of whom will be attending the University of Tennessee together in the fall as freshman, hope to continue the memes and playing tennis together through college as well.

"I am known as the ‘meme lord’ at Cleveland High School," Patel said. "During football and basketball season I like to make a lot of memes. I have some ideas once I get up to Tennessee, as well."

The senior class hopes its mark will be carried on by sophomore Jared Holland, who is expected to be the No. 1 seed next season, and captain of the team.

Holland has yet to lose a match in his prep career so far, with a 27-0 mark.

"We went out there and really stuck to the grind even when we weren't asked to be at the tennis courts," Klibisz said. "We would be out there and Jared would tag along too, at times. He is going to be a great No. 1 next year. The fact he is undefeated is pretty special."

The storybook season for Adam Frazier's squad is one he could not be more proud of after completing his second season as Cleveland's head coach.

"My seniors gave it everything they had," Frazier said. "They are all best friends and two of them will room up at Tennessee together. Veeren had the chance to play collegiate tennis, but it's pretty neat they all wanted to go to the same school together. They made a statement this season."

Elrod finishes strong season

Bradley Tennis Bear, Jared Elrod, recently competed in the Region 3AAA Singles Tennis tournament.

He beat the District 6AAA runner-up Tyler Price from Rhea County 6-0,6-3 and then played a very competitive match against Cole Crosland from White County for the championship.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

X

Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE

Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE

We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.

If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.

Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE