The MICDS Boys Tennis team embarked on an extraordinary journey this year, culminating in a triumphant run to the State Tennis Title in Class 2. This victory marked the program’s 17th state title and the first since 2016, a testament to the determination and team spirit that defined their season.

The road to glory was paved with challenges, none more daunting than facing the defending state champions and top-seeded Ladue in the Districts Final. The match against Ladue was a dramatic battle that showcased our resilience and tenacity. Louis Niemeyer ’24 and Armaan Chandak ’24 secured a crucial win at #3 doubles, while Arjun Puri ’25 and Max Padratzik ’27 triumphed at #2 doubles, giving MICDS a 2-1 lead heading into the singles matches.

However, the path to victory was far from smooth. Ladue surged ahead, winning at #1, #5, and #6 singles to take a 4-2 lead. With their backs against the wall, MICDS needed a heroic comeback, and that’s precisely what they delivered. Puri clinched a win at #2 singles with a third-set tiebreak, and Owen Kizer ’26 dominated at #3 singles to level the match at 4-4. The spotlight then fell on Padratzik, who faced the pressure of a decisive match at #4 singles. Displaying remarkable poise, Padratzik pulled off an upset against a senior opponent, securing the district title and propelling MICDS into the State quarterfinals.

The momentum from their district victory carried MICDS to a resounding 5-0 win over Cape Notre Dame in the quarterfinals, earning them a spot in the State Championships for the first time since 2019. The semifinals saw another dominant performance as they swept Westminster Christian Academy 5-0, setting the stage for a highly anticipated final against Platte County.

In the State Championship final, MICDS demonstrated their dominance with a commanding 5-1 victory. It was the culmination of a season marked by exceptional performances from every member of the team. The doubles teams set the tone, with Niemeyer and Chandak winning at #3 and Puri and Padratzik securing the win at #2. These victories were instrumental in establishing an early lead that was never relinquished. Niemeyer, Puri, Kizer, and Padratzik all won their singles matches within minutes of each other without giving up a game.

Throughout the season, standout performances came from every corner of the roster in the Metro League. Jai Patel ’25, playing #1 singles all year, provided leadership and skill, while Puri and Padratzik emerged as champions in both singles and doubles. Kizer remained undefeated in singles, showcasing his prowess at #3 singles and #1 doubles. Contributions from Niemeyer, Cameron McMillan ’24Abhi Madala ’26, and others underscored the depth and talent of the team. In Metro League the deep roster sealed the Conference title thanks to the following players: McMillan (#7 singles 3rd place), Madala (#8 singles champion and #4 doubles finalist), Ric Jain ’25 (#5 doubles finalist), Ollie Ashman ’25 (#5 doubles finalist), Amey Parwal ’27 (#6 doubles champion), and Dhruv Krishnan ’24 (#6 doubles champion).

The journey was not without its setbacks. A narrow 4-5 loss to Ladue in the regular season served as a wake-up call, highlighting how close we were to toppling the two-time defending champions. Captains McMillan, Chandak, and Patel played pivotal roles in maintaining focus and fostering a positive team atmosphere, which ultimately fueled their belief in achieving the title.

The season’s theme of building one match at a time paid off spectacularly. In addition to the team’s success, individual accolades included a deep run in the Missouri State Doubles Championships by Puri and Padratzik, who finished third after qualifying with a second-place finish in Districts.

Congratulations to the entire MICDS Boys Tennis team for an unforgettable season. Their remarkable journey to the State Title is a testament to their hard work, dedication, and unwavering team spirit. This championship run will be remembered as one of the finest moments in the program’s storied history.

State Championships: 1971, 1972, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2024