DENVER - When Pine Creek freshman Coulten Davis was routed on the court, it was just a sign of things to come for area schools at the 5A state tennis championships.
Davis lost to Cherry Creek's Ethan Hillis 6-0, 6-0 in a bout between freshmen in the first round of the No. 3 singles tournament, before all five area doubles teams followed suit and lost in straight sets to end their day at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver.
Davis said he knew he was going to be in for a long day when he clicked onto the draws released earlier in the week.
"When (Hillis) was in seventh grade he beat my older brother Owen in straight sets. And that's when Owen was a junior in high school. So I knew that this was going to be really tough," said Davis, who had only lost two close-knit matches all season before Thursday. "He just hits the ball in the corner all the time. He never misses."
It didn't seem like any area foe did. Chatfield and Grand Junction breezed through the Eagles' Nos. 1 and 2 doubles teams, Liberty's No. 2 and Palmer's No. 3 team only combined to win three games and the Lancers' No. 1 doubles team spent much of its time on the court trying to hold back frustration caused by the seasoned Regis Jesuit team.
"I thought we could beat them," said four-year high school tennis player Tyler Leasure, who teamed with first-year tennis player and senior AJ Bohuslavsky, who is more known around Liberty for his basketball skills. "I've seen Regis before, not the team we faced, but some of the other teams and I thought if we played our best we could've won. But our serve was really off today. It's tough to go out like this. Nobody wants to lose when you don't put out your best effort."
Class 5A area schools haven't had a state placer since Air Academy had three in 2006. The only chance that would change this year is if a singles player or doubles team that beat an area opponent on Thursday reaches the finals later this weekend. In that case, a playback bracket would give an area competitor a possible chance at a third-place finish.
But for now, it's just another harsh reality for boys' tennis in Colorado Springs.
"We don't have the population like some of the big schools, like Cherry Creek for instance in Denver, have," Pine Creek coach Dave Lehman said. "For one, all of us D-20 schools are fighting for the same players, while a Cherry Creek could take them all and then some. I think all of us are trying to find a way to get the boys back up there in the state competition like we have the girls there. But we'll see, not this year I suppose."