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High school tennis: Crossings' Daniel Haley defends crown

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Crossings Christian's Daniel Haley celebrates during a win Saturday at the OKC Tennis Center. [DEVIN LAWRENCE WILBER/for the Oklahoman]
Crossings Christian's Daniel Haley celebrates during a win Saturday at the OKC Tennis Center. [DEVIN LAWRENCE WILBER/for the Oklahoman]

Daniel Haley of Crossings Christian doesn’t want to look too far ahead.

But when you win state tennis championships in No. 1 singles as a freshman and a sophomore, people start talking about becoming a rare four-time Oklahoma state high school champion.

That’s only been done seven times in the history of high school boys’ tennis in Oklahoma, and only two players have all four titles in No. 1 singles.

Haley, who defeated Christian Siegle of Ada in the championship match Saturday to defend his state title in Class 4A, says it’s too early to think about becoming a four-time state champion.

“Can’t look that far yet,” he said. “It’s hard to win a state championship. It takes a lot of hard work, effort.”

Haley didn’t lose a game in his first three matches in the Class 4A state tournament. He defeated Christian Siegle, 6-3, 6-0, in the title match.

“He is just as steady as he can,” Crossings Christian tennis coach Jamie Wheat said of Haley. “He is polished in every aspect. He is probably one of the most polished young players I have ever seen play. He can do it all and he can do it all at a high level.”

Haley lost just twice this season, once to Cole Knutsen of Riverfield, who won the No. 2 singles title in Class 5A, and once to his USTA doubles partner Ben Richmond of Westmoore. Richmond reached the Class 6A No. 1 singles semifinals Saturday before losing to Mert Arabaci of Stillwater.

Wheat said he could tell a difference between Haley as a freshman and a sophomore.

“All through this tournament he had a different level of focus,” Wheat said. “He was locked in in a different way.”

Haley will likely have to pursue his third state championship in 5A as Crossings Christian is expected to move up a class next season, Wheat said.

“He is going to just fine (in 5A),” Wheat said of Haley. “He prepares the right way. It’s going to be a challenge, but his mentality is fight. He is going to fit right in in 5A. It’s going to be fun to watch.”

Ada captures fourth straight boys crown

Ada sent head coach Skip Griese on the road to retirement with another state championship.

It was the fourth straight boys’4A title for the Cougars and the 14th overall in both girls and boys under Griese, who is retiring after 35 years as the head tennis coach in Ada.

Ada clinched the team championship after the semifinals as the Cougars advanced everyone into the finals. The Cougars should be the favorite next season as well as this year’s state tournament team was five juniors and a sophomore.

“It’s just an awesome experience to be part of this,” Griese said. “The tradition is going to carry on.”

To top it off, Ada also was the state academic tennis champions in Class 4A.

Heritage Hall wins sixth consecutive title

Heritage Hall captured its sixth straight boys state tennis championship, but the Chargers had to share the title with Bishop Kelley.

It is the the final year for Chargers' tennis coach Brian Bogart as Michael Bischoff takes over the reins.

"I've done it for a very long time and I have done it kind of on the side of my day job, the restaurant business," said Bogart, who coached tennis at Heritage Hall the past 10 seasons. "I'm pulled a little to thin right now."

Heritage Hall had one state championship at No. 2 doubles, the duo of Harris Zeiders and Gavin Wilson, both freshmen. Senior Will Kaiser was state runner-up at No. 1 singles for the Chargers and their No. 1 doubles team of Brenden Baird and Wesley Jansen also finished second.

Edmond North repeats as 6A champ

Edmond North earned its second consecutive team championship in boys tennis by edging second-place Jenks by two points. Edmond Memorial finished third.

The Huskies got a state championship at No. 2 singles from Wes Robertson. At No. 1 singles, Edmond North's Brogran McLaughlin was the state runner-up.

The Huskies No. 1 doubles team of Quinn Navarro and Jeff Stockel placed third.

Deer Creek's No. 2 doubles team of Mathew Ivester and Kyler Melton were state champions.

Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›

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