Cowgirls end season on high note

Crook County takes second place at state

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Crook County High School No. 1 singles player, Elsa Harris, returns next year and is expected to challenge for the state championship.

The Crook County Cowgirls finished their tennis season in strong fashion taking second at the state championships.
   “The season went well as far as I was concerned,” said head coach Lloyd Rodgers.
   Catie Brown and Kayla Morgan, who won the state doubles championship in 2011, successfully defended their title. The pair dominated the competition, running through the state championships without dropping a set.
   “They definitely were on top of everything and worked hard to hang on to their title,” Rodgers said.
   The Cowgirls were also represented at state by two other doubles teams and singles player Elsa Harris.
   “The other two doubles teams stepped it up and really worked hard to get to state,” Rodgers said. “They had a good year.”
   Both doubles teams were able to win a match at the state tournament, proving that they belonged in the elite field.
   Harris also was able to win a match.
   “She is just a freshman, but her game has really improved,” Rodgers said. “She is going to be a state contender from here on out.
   Next season it will be difficult for the Cowgirls to match the success they have had in the past two seasons. The team will lose Brown and Morgan to graduation as well as doubles players Leslie Teater, Lisa Pham, and singles player Brooke Buswell.
   “Next year is going to be a rebuilding year,” Rodgers said. “We are losing a ton of seniors.”
   Still, the Cowgirls have a lot of talent returning. Doubles players Ali Apperson and Annie Fraser both had state tournament experience. With the two expected to pair together, and Harris challenging for an individual championship, the team should still have an impact at the state tournament.
   Rodgers expects to see several players take advantage of the summer tennis program and improve their game. In addition, he is looking forward to new talent stepping in from the middle school.
   “It will take some work,” he said. “But we’ll make it happen.”