CHEYENNE – Brendan Lock’s impact on the Cheyenne South tennis program can’t be measured in state championships.
“He made tennis cool on the south side,” South coach Josh Cossitt said. “The kids saw his success and wanted to be part of the program. Now, I have full teams that are eager to build upon what he helped us accomplish.”
From the time the school opened, South struggled to field a full team on both the girls and boys sides. The boys team filled first, and the girls squad was full this season. In all, Cossitt had nearly 30 players go out for tennis this season.
Lock’s championships were the catalyst for where the Bison are as a team.
He captured his third consecutive No. 1 singles championship by dispatching Laramie’s Kyle Moore, 6-0, 6-0, in a match that lasted all of 37 minutes Saturday. Lock is just the fourth player to win at least three No. 1 singles titles, according to Wyoming High School Activities Association records.
Lock’s historic win earned him Prep Athlete of the Week honors from WyoSports’ Cheyenne staff.
The Bison boys split for third in the team standings, which helped Lock achieve another one of his goals.
“My freshman year, I was really hoping we could get a team trophy before I graduated,” said Lock, who was the state runner-up at No. 1 singles his freshman year. “Getting that team trophy on Saturday made me really happy. I accomplished most of what I wanted to in high school.”
Cheyenne East’s Aaron Lapkin (2007-10) and Sheridan’s Julia Fenn (2012-15) are the only four-timers, while Casper Natrona County’s Jennifer Killmer (2003-05) won three state titles and was the state runner-up her senior season.
Lock and Cossitt occasionally talked about complacency. If Lock was ever bored by his own dominance, he never showed it.
He finished his prep career on a 55-match winning streak. For the second consecutive season, he dropped just 22 games across 18 matches. Seven of those lost games came during a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Sheridan’s Ethan Kutz in the semifinals.
“I came into this season wanting to keep better energy on the court, get more serves in play and be more consistent than I was last year,” he said. “I didn’t want to be lazy on the court. I wanted to be more pumped up.
“It was all about having the right mindset and keeping more energy. I had to remind myself to not be lazy on the court.”
Lock carried the same approach into each match, Cossitt said.
“He was really intense and competitive regardless of whether he was playing the best kid in the state, or the worst kid in the state,” the coach said. “He played all of his matches really efficiently and never mailed it in.”
In order to keep himself engaged, Lock worked on developing a new part of his game. He has grown up pounding shots and winning rallies from the baseline. This year, he worked on developing a serve-and-volley game and cutting off the court by charging the net.
Lock was able to continue to motivate himself instead of relying on his opponents pushing him.
“I have started to become a more complete player,” Lock said.
Lock also helped bring the best out of the Bison becoming somewhat of a player-coach, Cossitt said.
“You can try your best as a coach to create a culture, but you have to have a player that can lead by their own performance and help motivate their teammates,” he said. “(Lock) challenged the team and was always getting guys on the court to hit. He wanted them out there getting better because their points were going to be worth so much to us as a team.
“We didn’t have many players that could hit at his level, but he took some players under his wing and made them better.”
Others recognized for their efforts include:
Cassadie Anderson, Sarah Foster and Emily Needham, girls tennis, Central: Anderson and Foster, both juniors, finished second in the No. 1 doubles bracket at the state tennis tournament to help the Lady Indians win a share of first in the team standings.
Needham, also a junior, won the No. 1 singles draw to help Central claim its fifth state title in the past six seasons.
Chance Aumiller and Graedyn Buell, football, Cheyenne East: Aumiller, a senior, caught 15 passes for 237 yards in the Thunderbirds’ 38-35 double overtime loss at Casper Natrona County.
Buell, a junior, completed 29 of 47 passes for 393 yards and five touchdowns.
Ky Buell, Ashley Marshall and Hailey Marshall, volleyball, East: Buell, a senior setter, dished out 71 assists and posted 28 digs to help the Lady Thunderbirds take second in the gold bracket at the Casper Invitational.
Ashley Marshall, a junior, dished out 71 assists to go with 20 digs.
Hailey Marshall, also a junior, posted 35 kills and 31 digs.
Carter Lobatos, Dawson Macleary and Brock Storebo, football, Central: Lobatos, a junior, rushed for 179 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries during the Indians’ 47-14 victory over visiting Laramie.
Macleary, a senior, completed 22 of 29 passes for 285 yards and five touchdowns.
Storebo, a junior, caught eight passes for 127 yards and a touchdown.
Emma Reed, girls diving, Central: The senior reset her own school record by scoring 407.05 points on 11 dives during Friday’s Gillette Quadrangular. She won that event, and followed it with a second-place finish at the Sheridan Invitational on Saturday.