COUNCIL BLUFFS — Count on warmer weather and thunderstorms in spring, and in recent years, Abraham Lincoln’s dominance on the boys city tennis scene.
The Lynx captured their seventh consecutive city championship Tuesday by putting up 210 team points to outdistance second-place Thomas Jefferson (169). Team points are earned by adding the total number of games won.
The Lynx swept the competition in singles play and crowned city champions in two of the three scored doubles matches. The only non-A.L. participants to earn city titles were Thomas Jefferson’s Dustin Zuelsdorf and Brad Stokes at No. 2 doubles.
Despite the sizable victory margin, A.L. coach Myron Wilder said the Lynx had to work extra-hard to keep their city streak alive
“Today was a little different,” he said. “I don’t think we were quite as confident as we’ve been in past years going into some matches, and I think that reflected in some of the scores — there were a lot of 8-7 matches — but we came out on the right end.”
Alex Crowl, Ryan Koontz, Jacob Ragland, Jordan Peterson, Evan Giles and Sam Wilder claimed singles titles, but Crowl and Koontz especially stood out Tuesday.
Crowl completed a dominant four-year stretch in the city. He’s now a four-time singles and doubles champion after he and Koontz teamed for their second straight doubles crown. Crowl won his freshman and sophomore year playing alongside his brother Collin.
He remains unbeaten this season and aims to maintain that record in the last month of the year.
“It’s always a goal every year for us to come here and win all our matches at city,” Crowl said. “To do that, it’s just one step for moving on the rest of the season.”
Also a repeat champion last season, Koontz entered the meet with only one setback on his record: a loss to L.C.’s Weston Morgan a few weeks back. He avenged that with an 8-6 triumph Tuesday.
Now No. 2 in the singles lineup, Koontz moved up in the order from the No. 4 position he held last year. Offseason practice, playing alongside Crowl and enjoying more consistent success have paid big dividends for the junior.
“My goal originally was to go undefeated, but I lost one early in the year, so I’m just trying to win out the season,” Koontz said. “I’ve been practicing a lot more and I’ve got an (improved) serve, so that’s helped a lot.”
Still unbeaten in dual and tournament play, the Lynx’s next big challenge comes Saturday at the ultra-competitive, 10-team Atlantic Invite. It’s one of the last opportunities to encounter postseason-like competition, and the whole squad is looking forward to the test.
“It’s a lot of schools that have good track records,” Wilder said. “For me as a coach, it lets me see where we’re at. The kids feel a little more pressure when they play in a tournament as opposed to a dual meet.
“It’s good to get used to that as we head into district and conference play.”
1, Abraham Lincoln 210; 2, Thomas Jefferson 169; 3, Lewis Central 151; 4 St. Albert 49.
No. 1: Alex Crowl, A.L.
No. 2: Ryan Koontz, A.L.
No. 3: Jacob Ragland, A.L.
No. 4: Jordan Peterson, A.L.
No. 5: Evan Giles, A.L.
No. 6: Sam Wilder, A.L.
No. 1: Crowl/Koontz
No. 2: Dustin Zuelsdorf/Brad Stokes, Thomas Jefferson
No. 3: Giles/Wilder