Rock Bridge gets hot in doubleheader play

Blake Buchert withstands the heat against Parkway Central
Sunday, April 8, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:48 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The parents of Rock Bridge tennis players out to watch the Bruins’ matches Saturday knew they were in for a long, cold day, so they created their own warming area. They tied a tarpaulin to two poles to block the wind while Pete and Donna Buchert rented two portable 165,000 BTU kerosene forced air heaters.

For their son, freshman Blake Buchert, the heaters became part of a memorable day. Standing in front of the heaters before his match, Blake Buchert said his leg started to get overly warm, and then he looked down to notice that his warm-up pants were melting below his knee.

“I was only there for two seconds,” Blake Buchert told Bruins coach Ben Loeb, who didn’t appear too upset.

“He’ll forgive me,” Blake Buchert said. “It was a freshman move.”

Loeb agreed that is was a rookie mistake.

“You get that close to a heater, that type of thing can happen,” he said. “I doubt he’ll do that again the rest of his life.”

Pete and Donna Buchert could only laugh.

“I think that’s the typical 15-year-old trying to get warm but not using common sense,” Pete Buchert said.

It was just one of the day’s highlights for Blake Buchert, who played No. 2 doubles for the first time in a 6-3 Rock Bridge victory over Parkway Central.

The Bruins beat Parkway West 9-0 in their second match of the day.

Blake was zoned in on the court with partner Aron Franck against Parkway Central and redeemed himself in an 8-3 victory over Barry Goldenberg and Tyler Josephs. Against Parkway West, Buchert played No. 3 doubles with Sam Johnson, winning 8-0.

“This is our best dual meet of the season,” Loeb said. “Our doubles was just much better than what it has been as of late. We had a few changes and they’ve seemed to have turned out well.”

— Lyle Whitworth

HICKMAN BOYS TENNIS: The Kewpies won their first match of the season with a 6-3 victory over Parkway West on Saturday at Hickman, but later in the day fell to Parkway Central 9-0 at Cosmopolitan Park.

Hickman coach Andy Materer said his team put together a complete performance against Parkway West despite the conditions.

“It takes a lot of determination to play in that cold of weather,” Materer said. “Our effort was excellent this morning.”

Hickman senior Dan Fine, who won 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 singles against Parkway West, said he wasn’t satisfied with the team’s win.

“It’s nice to have the first win, but we need to do more than that.” Fine said.

At No. 2 singles Hickman senior Justin Guevera lost his first set 6-3, but won the next two, 6-0, 7-5.

“I thought I’ve been holding up well against really good opponents.” Guevera said. “However, It’s a lot easier if you win your first set and can avoid playing a third set.”

In No. 1 doubles, Fine and Guevera fell behind 6-1, but came back to win 9-7.

“My No. 1 and No. 2 were great,” Materer said. “I was very encouraged at their improvement.”

Materer said his team never regained its energy from its earlier meet, which was crucial because the double meet takes endurance.

“After playing in the cold our effort wasn’t all there against (Parkway Central),” Materer said. “We pushed ourselves mentally and physically to the limit.”

— Henri Whitehead

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