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Eagles to send three athletes to state tourney
spt kp Ellinwood tennis doubles
Ellinwood No. 1 doubles team Kyle Blakeslee, left, and Kale Clawson, second from right, qualified for the Class 3-1A state tournament after finishing fourth at a regional tournament in Russell over the weekend. - photo by Kevin Price Great Bend Tribune

RUSSELL — After the Class 3-1A boys’ tennis regional tournament at Russell, Ellinwood High School had three athletes qualify for the state tournament.
Kyle Blakeslee and Kale Clawson finished fourth in the doubles competition, and freshman Marc Waite finished sixth as a singles player.
“It’s kind of what I expected,” Ellinwood head coach Lyle Stickney said. “I thought we might be able to get our other doubles team qualified.
“They lost in the qualifying round to a team they’ve beaten twice this season.”
 Waite will be taking a 12-8 record to the state tournament.
“Marc has played a lot of good matches this year,” Stickney said. “He’s not real flashy. He doesn’t have a lot of weapons.
“He is determined, and he’s been getting pretty good this year.”
Clawson, a senior, will be heading to the state tournament for the second straight year. Blakeslee missed the regional tournament last year due to illness.
“Clawson went in singles,” Stickney said. “They both have been playing well, but I think they realize that they’re best tennis is ahead of them hopefully. There are a lot of peaks and valleys in their consistency.
“They have way too many mental mistakes, but hopefully we can have those ironed out before this weekend.”
Clawson and Blakeslee are 17-10 this season.

                                                                     — Kevin Price