By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– Here’s the thing that’s interesting about Cascade Sophomore Zach Moore’s incredible stretch is that he’s a sophomore. And it’s his first full-season of High School Tennis.
Meaning that his 8-0 start and only dropping six games all year on the singles’ court is only an appetizer for his Junior and Senior seasons.
“It’s..it’s..I can’t find any words. It just makes me really happy knowing that all of my practices finally are making it happen this year. It’s really unbelievable, it’s a great feeling,” Moore said.
Friday afternoon brought one last challenge with both Cascade and Philomath wrapping up the regular season with the number-one seed at stake. On the first court, the Warriors Dawson Beckstead handed Moore just his sixth game lost of Moore’s season during the opening game of the match. Nerves were a part of it, but after the first set Moore got back to it.
“I was definitely nervous at the beginning. I felt like…I knew (Beckstead) was going to be tough going into it, so I just had to shake it off and start playing my game and stepping into my shots.”
Once Moore settled in against Beckstead, rallying from 15-30 (down 2-1) down for his first game win, Moore wheeled off in total 12 game wins to take the match 6-1, 6-0 to win his eighth-straight match. In the process, locking up the number-one see in the District.
“After winning that first set, I just got more confident. I knew I was ahead and stuff, so I just went for it knowing that if I made a mistake, it’ll just be one point and I can try again the next point,” Moore starts. “I just went for it and just making some of those more difficult shots just gave me confidence going into the rest of it.”
A good test coming down the stretch of his first real season at the High School level. In the weird year that saw him have eight matches in 17 days.
“It’s just been a weird year for everybody. I just went in and trusted the practice I’ve done. It was disappointing last year not having a season, but I just wanted to make this year better,” Moore said. “I’ve just been practicing and trusting the practice and just trying to have fun the whole year. Win-or-lose it was going to be a good year overall.”
The Cougars number-one Doubles team in Jacob Farr and Colton Lee secured the number-two seed in Districts.
The Cougars will next play a 4A/3A/2A/1A crossover match with Blanchet on May 5 at Cascade. The District Meet will be the week of May 10.