I wish you could have all been there. The pressure was on the Barracudas this morning as they carried a narrow two game lead into the final round of play at the 2019 Missouri Valley JTT Championship in Tulsa. Coach Brad Lund had crunched the numbers and determined the team needed to score 30 points against the tough St. Louis Sunset Slammers to win.
The two singles matches got things started. John Paul Dillon and Javier Vazquez came out and played like two Jedi knights on the court. Forehands, backhands, serves, volleys…every shot was masterful! By the time our two captains finished their matches the Barracudas had secured 16 of the 30 points we thought we needed to bring home the championship.
Next up, the doubles team of John Paul Dillon and Macy Hays took court one ready to play. And they were ready to play! Macy and John Paul made quick work of the team from St. Louis and secured eight more points for the Barracudas.
Needing what was thought to be six points, our second doubles team of Taytum Jones and Kellen Hays took court two. Taytum and Kellen opened strong, took a quick early lead, and then the tide turned, as often it does in tennis. Before they knew it the St. Louis squad had won the first set 4-2 and things were looking grim. The big question lurking in everyone’s mind was: “How will a couple of ten year old boys respond to losing the lead and then the set in the biggest match of their lives?” Most young doubles teams would fold up like a cheap suit, but Taytum and Kellen dug deep. They came out for the second set flying around the court like the Bryan Brothers. They hustled, fought for every point, encouraged each other like crazy, and rallied to win the second set 4-0! You read that right…4-0!
Because each team had won one set each they went to a 10 point Super Tiebreaker. Kellen and Taytum jumped out to a strong 7-1 lead only to see the fightin’ boys from St. Louis rally back to 7-5. Taytum and Kellen were unfazed as they closed out the match 10-7 and the crowd roared so loudly you could hear it all across the state of Oklahoma.
It was the most incredible day closing out the most incredible season in BCC Tennis Academy JTT history as the 12U Barracudas brought home our very first Missouri Valley JTT Championship. The Barracudas are incredible group of kids. John Paul Dillon, Javier Vasquez, Taytum Jones, Macy and Kellen Hays, Kadence Williams, Alma Mendoza, and Gray Dillon have now won two State Championships and our very first Missouri Valley Championship. We are so blessed to have leaders like these kids for our younger players to look up to as they set their sights on winning championships of their own.