CHEYENNE – The Border Battle started as one of those, “Wouldn’t it be cool if …” conversations frequently had on bus rides, but Josh Cossitt envisions it as an annual tennis event.
“It’s one of those things we can grow upon because of the success of this weekend,” said Cossitt, who is the director of the Frontier Park Family Tennis Center. “We didn’t do girls this time because the season for Colorado and Nebraska isn’t until the spring. But I could see us trying to do something for the girls in the spring.
“I really hope this becomes a yearly event, and that this first one helps us build support for it.”
The inaugural Border Battle pitted boys from northern Colorado and western Nebraska against each other in duals using the college-style rules of six singles matches and three doubles contests.
Wyoming swept Nebraska (9-0) and edged Colorado (5-4).
The idea for the event came when Cossitt – who also coaches Cheyenne South’s tennis teams – was talking with South senior Brendan Lock on the return trip from the Wyoming state tennis tournament. The pair quickly went to work, reaching out to the top six players in the Equality State and coaches Cossitt knew in Colorado and Nebraska.
Lock, Cheyenne Central’s Elijah Norgauer, Laramie’s Kyle Moore, Campbell County’s Miles Veyna, Sheridan’s Ethan Kutz and Powell’s Jesse Brown all agreed to be part of Team Wyoming. Moore called it a no-brainer.
“This was something I really wanted to do as soon as they talked to me about it,” said Moore, who was second in No. 1 singles this fall. “This is an amazing group of guys. They’re all really cool and fun to play with. It’s been a lot of fun playing with them.”
While they may have been competitors on the court, all of the Wyoming players were friendly off of it. The camaraderie came easily as soon as they arrived at the Frontier Park Family Tennis Center for a brief practice Friday night.
“Even though I went head to head with these guys for all four years of my high school career, I really liked all of them and got along with each of them,” said Lock, who won three No. 1 singles state titles during his South career. “Playing as a team with them has been exciting. It has been a lot of fun bonding with them and cheering for people you’re normally not used to cheering for because they weren’t your teammates.”
Neither Moore nor Lock played doubles during their high school careers, but they have during junior and adult tournaments. Playing with a partner wasn’t completely foreign to them, but it takes a different mindset.
“You have to remember you’re also playing for a partner,” Moore said. “You have to work with your partner to win points instead of always trying to do it yourself.”