Competing at state tennis was an eye-opener last year for Hays High doubles players Logan Clark and Zac Wyse.

“What I learned last year: East side of Kansas tennis compared to western side of Kansas is a lot more difficult,” Clark said. “They have a lot better facilities, less wind and more money, I guess. They get a little better opportunity.”

After enjoying another solid season, Clark and Wyse are hoping last year’s experience will bode well in their return trip to the Class 4A tournament, which will be held Friday and Saturday in Winfield. 

“Last year, I was nervous and we were a little slower at our game,” Wyse said. “We’re definitely going to want to overcome that when we get there this year.”

Clark and Wyse placed 6th at the regional tournament last week at Abilene to qualify for the meet.

“Being able to go back-to-back to state, it’s just an overwhelming feeling,” Clark said. “Hays isn’t known for their tennis. We’re trying to make a name for ourselves.”

“We definitely have a bigger motive to do better this year than last year,” Wyse added. “We definitely want to improve on what we did last year.”

Clark and Wyse teamed up for doubles last year and have enjoyed strong results ever since. They won No. 1 doubles in their home meet early this season and took the title at the Colby Invitational a couple weeks ago.

“Since the start of it, we’ve kind of connected well,” Clark said. “There’s been a couple hiccups, but we’ve been consistent this year. We know what we’ve got to do at state so we’re just going to try and do that. We’re just going to have to stay focused and play to our potential.”

“I think we’re pretty close to playing our best right now,” Wyse added. “I think we’re at the peaking point of the season.”

For Clark, a senior, the tournament will come with the emotions of playing his last high school matches.

“It hasn’t hit me yet, but it will at state,” Clark said. “Once I play my last match, it will hit, for sure.”

Hays High coach Curtis Renz wants Clark and Wyse to again soak up the state experience.

“I want them to enjoy this experience because it’s very rare for anyone on this side of the state to go to state tennis," Renz said. “I want them to be focused because there’s a lot of tough competition we’re going to be exposed to.

“We’ve proved that we can play with some of these better, talented teams.”