KW Doubles Up in Tennis Titles


Both the Trojan girls and boys tennis teams participate in the march of champions after each team won team titles at the state tournament in Gillette.

Finley Klinger, Staff Writer

Now that all fall sports are over and the winter sports season is upon us, it seems like a good time to reflect on the state titles won for KW this year in tennis.  The Kelly Walsh Tennis Team walked away with both team state titles, which is something that hasn’t been achieved by any team since 2010. 

The boys team are back to back state champions, winning by 18 points, with 3 of 5 individuals pulling off state titles.  The Lady Trojans won their first state title since 2007 with a perfect 69 points and a clean sweep, a first in school history.  

The girls team completed a perfect season, going undefeated with a record of 100-0.  The team only lost 3 sets all season and won the State Tournament by an astounding 40 points. 

Senior Finley Klinger won her first state title defeating Natrona County’s Theresa Trvajova 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1 singles.  She took 3rd as a Freshman and 2nd as a sophomore and junior.

No. 2 singles player junior Gabby Blumberg won her first state title never dropping a single set.  She defeated Megan Counts of Green River 6-2, 6-2 to take the title.

The doubles team of junior Avery Strand & sophomore Taylor Nokes won the state title at No. 1 doubles defeating Dorrell/Moore of Laramie 6-3, 6-1.

No. 2 doubles players sophomore Ella Catchpole & freshman Harper Klinger won their first state title never losing a set all season.  They defeated Baktamarian/Murphy of Cheyenne East 6-0, 6-1.

The No. 3 doubles team of juniors Malan Wilson & Bailey Collins won the state title defeating Colling/Warelin of Natrona County 6-3, 6-0.  The pair never lost a set throughout the season.  Wilson, a 3 time All-State player, said that what makes this team special is: “This year, everyone on the team put in hours of practice over the summer and during season in order to improve.  We pushed each other before season to get better, and supported each other through every match during it.”

Defending state champion at No. 1 singles senior Austin Putnam took 3rd this year after battling back from a tough loss in the semi-finals to Cheyenne South’s Andrew Lock.  He eventually defeated Braxton Cordova of Green River 6-0, 6-1 to take a 3rd place finish.

Senior Jackson Catchpole, defending state champion at No. 2 singles, won his second title defeating Hayden Clark of Jackson Hole 6-3, 6-1.  Catchpole hasn’t lost a set in 2 years and has a match record of 40-0. He maintains what contributed to his success is: “…all the work that was put into the summer along with the support of my whole team pushing me to get better.”

The doubles team of seniors Drew Rasmussen & Parker Phillips also went undefeated this year.  The pair won the No. 1 doubles state championship match defeating Woodrow/Hamrick of Sheridan 6-4, 7-5.

The No. 2 doubles team of senior Alex Yakel & freshman Owen Putnam defeated  O’Connor/Russow of Laramie 6-4, 7-6(4) to take the championship

The No. 3 doubles team of juniors Isaak Mamot & Treydon Ward had a surprising upset in the second round of the tournament but were able to battle back and finish 3rd defeating  Aepli/D’Amours of Jackson Hole 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

The Kelly Walsh Tennis Team has more than one factor that makes this team special.  There are currently 3 sets of siblings competing for the Trojans.  Finley & Harper Klinger, Jackson & Ella Catchpole, and Austin & Owen Putnam.  Regarding this special team dynamic, Owen Putnam said, “It was really awesome to witness a tennis state championship with Austin, now we have something more to connect about.  Watching a former tennis state champion is truly amazing.”

Along with 8 state titles, the Trojan Tennis Team also has an impressive 18 All-State players, the highest total of any team in the state.