By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The Duo match of Joshua Lam-Caden Cox (Molalla) and Cascade’s Austin Thatcher-Isaac Schnepp would have some old-timer Tennis players to ‘calm down and take a chill-pill buddy’ with how lively verbally and physically they were in the 4A/3A/2A/1A Special District 2 Championship bout Friday afternoon. The crowd seated just on the otherside of the window watching the athletes do their thing were equally as loud, you could hear their cheers seep into the three-court room.
For Thatcher and Schnepp, they were ready and expected the pressure of the tournament. They were the number-one seed in the bracket so they had to be prepared for everyone’s best.
“Well we beat them earlier in the season and they’ve definitely improved a lot since then. There’s a lot of pressure coming in because we were the number-one seed, so we had a target on our back the whole tournament. We live for that, it’s a lot fun,” smiled Schnepp.
“It was crazy, we haven’t had a lot of up-and-downs in a close match like that this whole year so it was fun having it for a chance,” Thatcher said. “There’s going to be a lot of tough competition at State, but tey’re going to be there and will be tough competition too. It’s just a matter of who we get matched up with and how high-up we are to start the match.”
The match itself was a two-set sweep by Thatcher- Schnepp but both sets went into extra points, tennis overtime, as the Cougar duo defeated the Indian duo 7-5, 6-6 (7) win for the District Championship as they now focus on their State push this next weekend.
“Serves. It’s going to be about serves. I would say our serves, people at (State) are coming for us. We got a week to prepare for this and I think we’ll be ready,” Schnepp said.
The duo and Cascade tennis Phenom Zach Moore were District Winners for the Cougars as Cascade repeated as District Champions, edging Philomath by one point for the District Title by tournament’s end. For Moore, he too repeats in the Singles Division.
Matter of fact, it took until the District Championship for Moore to drop a point when he defeated Philomath’s Dawson Beckstead 6-0, 6-1 to add another thing to his tennis resume.
“I was just trying to have a lot of fun out there. I had to keep reminding myself to play my own game and do what I do and not focus on if I’m playing bad or not, just trying to keep playing my own game. Stick to the game I know I can play,” Moore said. “I’m not going to be perfect and (Beckstead) is a good player, so I know I’m not going to win every point, So it didn’t phase me that he won the game because I knew I was going to make mistakes, it’s about being able to bounce back and stick to the high-level I know i can.”
Now that he has this goal checked off, the next box to check is winning State. Moore is happy with the result but he knows his overall goal is now next.
“The overall goal is to try and compete at State, but right now I’m really happy with this,” Moore starts. “Last year I think I didn’t quite have the confidence in myself and now I know I’m feeling confident in my game knowing that I can compete with higher-level people and having fun too.”
On the girls side for Cascade, the doubles team of Kenna Coleman and Natalee Federico finished District Runner-up to Estacada’s Maria Portillo de Mueller-AnaGarica Munoz 6-0,6-0.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald