Sunday, May 20, 2007

Going to State

Sean and his team had their Divisional Tournament for Tennis. Their division is made up of Park, Havre, Fergus and Butte Central. They went up Thursday night to get ready for the two day tournament in Lewistown on Friday and Saturday. Sean was supposed to be seeded #2, but some last minute protests from Havre and Fergus moved Sean down to #4 because he didn't play in the tournament last year. Duh! He was in Texas! I think it is a crazy rule, but nevertheless, Sean was moved to #4. First day, Sean played the #4 player from Havre and beat him 6-0, 6-0. Later in the day he played the top Butte Central Player and beat him 6-1, 6-1. Sean had a great first day and it put him in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Saturday morning arrived and Sean had an 8 a.m. start, playing the #1 Havre player who was also seeded #1 in the tournament and is favored to win the State Championship. Sean has played him twice before and has beaten him both times. We had our fingers crossed because if he could beat him again, Sean would play in the Championship game. It was cold and the wind was blowing like 30 miles an hour. These were terrible conditions to play tennis. Sean won the first set 6-2. The start of the second set, the first game went on forever. They went back and forth to duece several time and Sean finally pulled out the win. He was leading the second set 1-0. Then the other player got a pep talk from his coach and he came out a completely different player. He was smashing his shots, making every one. He was hitting bullets making Sean run the court. Sean was trying to keep up but ended up losing the second set 2-6. So now they had to play a third set. They battled back and forth, but the Havre kid broke Sean's serve and Sean lost the third set 4-6. Page and I felt so bad. Sean was frustrated. He lost to a kid he beat twice and it knocked him out of the championship game. I have to say, the kid looked like he took go-go juice or something. He was on fire and overpowered Sean. Now Sean was knocked down to the consolation bracket. He had to win the next game or he would not be in the top 4 to go to State next week. We were worried about his mental state and if he would pull himself together for the next match. His team really helped him relax and soon he was smiling again and watching other team members play. At noon, Sean had to play the #3 Havre player. The kid had just knocked off our #2 player. The kid was good, but Sean soon figured out the guy's game and took him to town. Sean beat him 6-2, 6-2. OK! Now I was doing the happy dance. This game assured Sean was going to the State Tournament. Sean made it to State. He still had one more match to see if he was going as #3 or #4. He had to play the #2 Havre player who just about beat the #2 seed of the tournament and the #1 player from Fergus. (#1 Fergus was the only guy Sean lost to all year before Divisionals). This was going to be a tough match and other players from other teams were talking smack to our player saying there was no way Sean was going to beat this guy. Sean started the match and played inspiring tennis. He was so relaxed and was hitting everything. He destroyed the other player 6-1, 6-1. If you took away the game he lost, Sean was the most dominate player in the tournament. Sean was dissapointed that he was so close to winning the whole tournament and just missed it. But he was very pleased that he made it to State. Page says Sean does much better if he is not playing early in the morning. Maybe it would have been different if that 8 a.m. match was played later in the day. Who knows. But Sean got his ribbon for 3rd place and will be playing somebody who came in #2 in their divisionals. There are 4 Divisions in Montana and Sean plays in the Central Division who is the most dominate Division in the State. In fact, somebody from our Division has won state the last 5 years in a row and Sean has proven he can beat anybody in our Division so I think he could make a good showing in State. He is excited to go and says he plans to have a lot of fun playing. Good luck next week Sean! We are very proud of him and will be in Miles City next week cheering him on.

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