Boys State Tennis: Childers, Marian Catholic make their mark
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media May 26, 2012 8:44PM
Updated: July 26, 2012 1:44AM
The loss in the singles championship match certainly stung for Marian Catholic’s Julian Childers.
But the end of the Boys Tennis State tournament Saturday marked not only an impressive four-year run for Childers but Marian Catholic as a program.
Childers finished second in state, losing to Deerfield’s Jason Brown 6-1, 6-2 for the title at Hersey High School in Arlington Heights.
Childers became only the third boys Southland singles player in IHSA history to compete in a championship match.
Marian Catholic finished eighth with 23 points, the first top 10 finish for a Southland team since Homewood-Flossmoor finished ninth in 1999.
“I’m really happy with what Marian has accomplished the last four years,” Childers said. “Coming from nothing to top 10 in state is a ridiculous improvement, and finishing second, it’s not bad even though I wanted to win it. There are only two people in the finals, and I’m happy to be one of them.”
Childers defeated Stevenson’s Jeremy Bush 7-6 (5), 6-1 in the semifinals in a match delayed three hours because of rain and lightning.
In the championship match, Childers regrouped after losing the first set.
The senior went up 2-1 in the second set.
“I got into the match and loosened up a bit,” Childers said. “He wasn’t hurting me, and I started making a lot more balls.”
Brown did his own regrouping, winning the next five games to take the championship. He closed it out with a beautiful charging, cross-court, back-handed shot.
“He beat me pretty bad, but I could have won if I stayed mentally stronger,” Childers said. “That’s my problem, my mental game. I’ve got to work on that to get to the next level.”
Marian’s Mitch Zavesky and Kyle Scheffers lost in the consolation quarterfinals Saturday 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 to Highland Park’s Zacko Brint and Danny Wynbrandt. The doubles duo won six matches at the tournament to help Marian’s top 10 run.
“The team has improved every year for the last five years,” Marian Catholic coach Scott Bodnar said.
Homewood-Flossmoor’s Brad Holt lost to New Trier’s Alex Galoustin 6-2, 6-4 Saturday in the consolation quarters.
Stagg’s Tim Kopinski (2010) and Blue Island’s Bob Kough (1950) also finished second in state.