Chatfield saves best for last, wins Jeffco

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By Michael Hicks

Mark Koza called it the best that the Chatfield Chargers have played all year. As the Chargers’ boys tennis head coach, there’s not much more he could ask for, considering it was the regular-season finale and it was against Lakewood, with the 5A Jeffco League championship hanging in the balance.
Starting with John Koza’s straight-set victory at No. 1 singles, the Chargers won all seven bouts in a 7-0 win on Sept. 26 at the Ken-Caryl Ranch House.
“It was our best match. Everyone played very well, from No. 1 singles to No. 4 doubles. As a group, it’s the best match we’ve played,” Mark Koza said.
The win locks up the Chargers’ first league championship since 2010. Chatfield finished second in the 5A Jeffco League the past two seasons behind rival Columbine, but defeated the Rebels to open September as part of an 8-0 record in league play this season.
“It was absolutely a goal we set. We thought we had the personnel to do it,” coach Koza said of winning a league title. “We’re still a very young team, with only two graduating seniors on this team. We are returning many freshmen and sophomores; we have a total of seven freshmen and sophomores on this team. They’ve accomplished quite a bit for a young group of guys.”
John Koza, the Jeffco League MVP the past three seasons, got things rolling with his 6-1, 6-4 win over Bryan Yoshida. It was the younger Koza’s 10th win in 11 matches thus far.
“Personally, I wanted to win the league and that our team would as well. Then, honestly, I’m hoping to get pretty far in state,” Koza said.
But before it could look toward state, Chatfield had to deal with the 5A Region 3 tournament at Redstone Park on Sept. 30-Oct. 1. The top two players in each bracket advance to the 5A state tournament, set for Oct. 10-12 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver. Results from the regional tournament weren’t available at press time.
Other winners for Chatfield against Lakewood included No. 2 singles Brian Ross, No. 3 singles Patrick Ross, No. 1 doubles John Simpson and Sam Meyer, No. 2 doubles Austin Stutz and Chase Adams, No. 3 doubles Tim Day and Garrett Simpson, and No. 4 doubles Jack Bohan and Elliot Takaki.
“That match was key, definitely. We came out here hoping to play our best because it was a tough match. We definitely did that. We gave it our all, and it showed in the score,” Simpson said following his and Meyer’s 6-2, 6-3 victory over the Tigers’ Joe Castagneri and Adam Zimmerman. Simpson and Meyer are both sophomores.
Lakewood (10-2, 7-1) lost for the first time in 10 matches.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.