When the prep boys tennis season began more than two months ago, some area coaches were surprised to see Colt Tegtmeier back on the local courts.
His success this season, however, was anything but surprising.
Tegtmeier spent the fall semester taking online courses at Madison Memorial and playing tennis at the prestigious Van Der Meer Tennis Center in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
He said he planned all along to return to Madison for his junior season. Tegtmeier amassed a 31-3 overall record and claimed the No. 2 overall seed — and a runner-up finish — in the WIAA Division 1 state individual tournament.
As a result, Tegtmeier was named the Wisconsin State Journal/WisconsinPrepZone.com Boys Tennis Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.
“I’ve been approached by a few coaches, saying ‘Oh, you’re playing this year?’ ” Tegtmeier said early in the season. “And I’m like, ‘No, I’m back for the spring. I want to play boys season. I love Memorial. I want to be a good team player.’”
The state championship ultimately eluded Tegtmeier, but he was the only player to take a set off Brookfield East senior Robert Krill during his unbeaten run to a repeat state title. Krill bested Tegtmeier 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 for the state championship.
Last year, Tegtmeier advanced to the quarterfinal round at individual state, finishing fifth to wrap up a 34-3 season.
“I’ve known Colt since he was 10 and hit with him in middle school, and (I’ve) seen him get better every year,” Memorial assistant coach Derek Hubbard said earlier in the season. “The last two years, since he became a state favorite, he’s maturing in that role.”
Tegtmeier said his time at Van Der Meer — where he roomed with young players from Namibia, Italy and Romania — helped to grow his outlook on the game.
“It was really, really good for my tennis game,” he said. “And not just that, but it was a good experience personally, too. I learned a lot.”
Also considered for the award were Verona sophomore Will Tennison, who was the only Madison-area player to beat Tegtmeier this season, and Madison Edgewood senior Cecil Lingard, who was the only local athlete to earn a podium finish (taking fifth) in the Division 2 individual draw.
Coach of the year: Madison Edgewood and first-year coach Lori Lukens weren’t quite able to repeat the Crusaders’ 2016 success in this year’s WIAA Division 2 state team tournament. But the Crusaders came just one victory away from repeating as state champions, falling to Racine Prairie in the title match to earn the school’s eighth runner-up finish.
As a result, Lukens was named the All-Area Coach of the Year. Also considered for the honor were Waunakee’s Chris Nuenthel and Madison West’s John Braxler.
Colt Tegtmeier, jr., Madison Memorial (31-3) — Thanks to a runner-up finish in the WIAA Division 1 state individual tournament, Tegtmeier earned All-Area Player of the Year honors for the second straight season.
Will Tennison, so., Verona (28-5) — The area’s premier rivalry reached new heights this season, and it has the Verona junior to thank. Tennison not only bested Tegtmeier for the Big Eight Conference crown, he also earned the No. 3 seeding at the state individual tournament and pushed Tegtmeier to the limit in a nearly three-hour state semifinal, ultimately finishing fourth.
Aidan Schutter, so., Sun Prairie (25-9) — The area’s only other seeded player in the Division 1 state individual draw this season, Schutter advanced to the third round of the tournament before falling to Kenosha Tremper senior Daniel Moore. Along the way, he showed the talent to make things interesting in next year’s Big Eight battle.
Cecil Lingard, sr., Madison Edgewood (18-4) — A bout of mononucleosis sidelined Lingard midway through the season, but he bounced back in fine fashion, finishing fifth at the Division 2 individual tournament for the second straight season and leading the Crusaders to a runner-up finish in the team competition.
James Paradisin, sr., and Andrew Zellner, sr., Waunakee (14-2) — Waunakee’s top doubles pair turned a one-loss regular season into a No. 6 seed at the Division 1 state individual tournament, where Paradisin and Zelllner were one of just four local tandems to advance past the second round.
Andrew Zhou, sr., and Jacob Munz, fr., Monona Grove (24-2) — Zhou and Munz boasted the best record of any local duo in the Division 1 state draw, good enough for the No. 7 seeding. They advanced to the third round.
Elijah Schimelpfenig, jr., and Andrew Olson, jr., Sun Prairie (21-8) — The Sun Prairie pair earned the No. 15 seed, losing in the third round to eventual Division 1 state runners-up Jack Steinberger and Eli Winter of Glendale Nicolet.
Singles — Ryan Gold, so., Middleton (17-7); Cole Lindwall, so., Monona Grove (15-10); Noah Wankerl, fr., Sauk Prairie (18-6); Silas Setterstrom, sr., Monroe (18-10).
Doubles — Sam Dettman, so., and Rafael Sanga, jr., Middleton (16-7); Henri Blair, sr., and Taran Katta, jr., Sun Prairie (19-9); Charlie Weitz, sr., and Forrest Lynn, jr., Madison Edgewood (16-8).
Singles — Benjy Thiel, sr., Madison East (18-12); Calvin Schneider, sr., Oregon (21-8); Charles Donovan, sr., Oregon (22-5); Josh Baldwin, fr., Sun Prairie (26-4); Hunter Dunn, jr., Madison Edgewood (12-3); Christopher Boll, so., Madison Edgewood (19-4); Ben Ruggles, jr., McFarland (14-7).
Doubles — Felix Beilin, so, and Matthew Ruggiero, fr., Madison West (21-10); Evan Oriel, sr., and Ezra Carre, sr., Madison West (18-16); Adam Schiebler, jr., and Mason Pyle, sr., Middleton (16-6); Jordan Hutchcroft, jr., and Vivek Swaminath, jr., Verona (22-12); Kurtis Thelen, jr., and Bryce Kessel, sr., Madison Edgewood (20-3); Evan Loken, sr., and Kevin Dunn, sr., Madison La Follette (14-9); Parker Chrisler, jr., and Kelby Mack, fr., Sauk Prairie (18-5); Matt Pierce, jr., and Henry Conway, jr., Edgerton (16-2).