ST. LOUIS - The Sikeston High School tennis team will compete in the Class 1A-3A state sectional at Priory High School here on Saturday at 10 a.m.
If the Bulldogs get by Priory, then they'd play in the quarterfinals against the winner of the other sectional matchup between Dexter and John Burroughs at John Burroughs High School.
"It's a tough route for us to go," said Sikeston head coach Brian James. "John Burroughs is one of the top teams in the state regardless of class. To advance on into the state semifinals, we'd have to beat a tough Priory team and get by John Burroughs to get to the semifinals. It's a tough road ahead but we're looking forward to the challenge and we'd like to improve on last year's showing."
The Bulldogs have already qualified singles player Stephen Pobst and the doubles team of Ryne Vickery and Peter Jones for state play. But James says getting a chance to see some of St. Louis' top competition will help them down the road.
"It gives them a chance to play good competition that's out of this area," said James. "We've seen everything this area has to offer. If we're fortunate enough to beat Priory, then we'd play John Burroughs, should they beat Dexter. It's good to play good people and to have that experience."
If Sikeston doesn't advance out of the quarterfinal, it could be the last dual match for seniors Pobst, Adam Hahs, Ben Jones and Aaron Senter.
The four seniors were an integral part of Sikeston's 11-1 team this year.
"Those four guys have been a big part of our success," said James. "I've really enjoyed coaching all of them. They're all quality students as well as good players. They make it fun for everybody else and they're a joy to be around. We're certainly going to miss them next year. I have nothing but good things to say about each of them."