Early in the week, Pittsburg High tennis coach John Seal called up and was not sure that the Firecracker Open would be played Saturday, because of low numbers, in Lincoln Park.
Well, on Saturday, Seal expressed being surprised at the numbers who played.
“I was (surprised),” Seal said. “I thought we had a good turnout. Three events made, wanted more but we had some good draws — 12 good singles players and six good doubles teams. This is a tough weekend because we’re going up against a lot of things.
“Great singles draw. Great talent. It was great to have some of my kids playing because they had to play some pretty good people. You had ranked players throughout the draw who are national champions and nationally-ranked players and things like that. I was real happy about that.
“We had some people who played for us in the past come back and play, like Vannurden (Josh Vannurden) and Clay Southern. They played well and I was happy about that. I get a kick out of everybody playing. It was a good turnout and a fun event to run. We just need to keep doing it.”
The numbers supported men’s singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles.
Jack Johnson won the men’s open singles by injury default over Omar Elshabassy, a state champion tennis player at Independence. Johnson won matches over Adrian McAfee 9-0 and Alex Mailes 9-4.
The singles bracket featured morning play-in games between Vannurden and McAfee, Roger Bailey and Horatio Zuccoloido, and Leo Hudson and Southern.
Johnson and high schooler McAfee won men’s doubles by default and only played a single match after earning a first round bye. Johnson-McAfee defeated Craig VanWey-Seal 9-4.
Seal and Katy Short won the mixed doubles title with victories over Michelle Harrison-McAfee 9-2 and Roger-Taylor Bailey 9-1. Seal said that Short, a state qualifier for PHS last year who returns for her junior season, carried the coach. “That’s Katy. She played outstanding all tournament.”
Seal talked about the future Saturday, both of where the high school will be playing next school year and next week, and other plans. He spoke with his customary enthusiasm.
“We’ve got plans for a 10-court complex to be put in at the high school,” Seal said. “We’ve put some efforts into getting it built and our hopes are to host a USTA event out here. If we have a complex like that, it will be awesome. Plus, they are going to resurface the courts at Lincoln Park.
“Our tentative plan is to play team tennis on Tuesday. We’re going to go out Monday and we’re going to play in Wichita. We’re going to take the high school kids out. We’ve got a couple injuries we’re worried about but we’ll see what we can do to help filling in. We’ve never played team tennis here before. I’m taking four pretty good girls and our boys are solid.”
Page 2 of 2 - 2013 FIRECRACKER OPEN
at Lincoln Park
Adrian McAfee def. Josh Vannurden, 9-1
Horatio Zuccoloido def. Roger Bailey, 9-6
Leo Hudson def. Clay Southern, 9-7
Jack Johnson def. Adrian McAfee, 9-0
Alex Mailes def. Logan Benham, 9-0
Omar Elshabassy def. Horatio Zuccoloido, 10-8 (tiebreaker)
Dennis Mailes def. Leo Hudson, 9-2
Jack Johnson def. Alex Mailes, 9-4
Omar Elshabassy def. Dennis Mailes, 6-4
Jack Johnson def. Omar Elshabassy, injury default (Championship)
Josh Vannurden def. Logan Benham, 5-1 (retired, injury)
Roger Bailey def. Clay Southern, 9-3
Roger Bailey def. Josh Vannurden, 9-1 (Consolation)
Henry Menghini-Steve Richards, bye
Omar Elshabassy-Logan Benham def. Dennis-Nick Mailes, 9-1
Craig VanWey-John Seal def. Clay Southern-Josh Vannurden, 9-5
Jack Johnson-Adrian McAfee, bye
Menghini-Richards def. Elshabassy-Benham, 9-8 (6)
Johnson-McAfee def. VanWey-Seal, 9-4
Johnson-McAfee def. Menghini-Richards, def. (Championship)
Dennis-Nick Mailes def. Southern-Vannurden, 9-7 (Consolation)
Roger-Taylor Bailey def. Ellen Harrison-Devon McAfee, 9-3
John Seal-Katy Short def. Michelle Harrison-Adrian McAfee, 9-2
Seal-Short def. Bailey-Bailey, 9-1 (Championship)
E. Harrison-D. McAfee def. M. Harrison-A. McAfee, injury default (Consolation)