Shawano’s No. 1 tennis doubles team qualifies for state

Buerman, Sheldon placed 4th at sectionals to advance
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

Shawano Community High School’s George Buerman and Tristan Sheldon qualified for state as a No. 1 doubles team after a strong week of play at subsectionals and sectionals.

Buerman and Sheldon placed fourth during the Division 1 Notre Dame Sectional on May 25 in Green Bay to qualify for state. The duo advanced to sectionals after winning a match at the Division 1 Notre Dame Subsectional on May 22 in Green Bay.

“It is very special for Tristan and I to qualify for state. We have been motivated and encouraged well by our parents and coaches,” said Buerman. “A great motivator for Tristan and I was to get coach (Matt) Zoll to state for the first time — he has played an important role in developing us as players.”

“To qualify for state means so much to us because we know what it means to our coaches,” said Sheldon. “Our coaches had never qualified for state tennis until now so it means a lot for us as well as them.”

At subsectionals, Buerman and Sheldon earned a 6-3, 6-0 win over Green Bay Preble to advance on.

“At subsectionals on Monday, we were put against a team that had beaten us just the weekend before,” said Sheldon. “We knew that we would have to beat them in order to advance but we were confident in our ability to play.”

In the duo’s state-qualifying match at sectionals, they faced off against a strong duo from Kimberly.

Buerman and Sheldon won that match 6-2, 1-6, 11-9 to punch their ticket to state.

“We knew Kimberley was a great team but we knew that it was win or go home which definitely helped our focus,” said Sheldon. “Beating Kimberley in a third set tiebreak was the greatest accomplishment of mine and George’s tennis careers.”

“Kimberly had a very strong one doubles and it came down to staying in points and keeping rallies,” said Buerman.

Qualifying for state was an accomplishment the Shawano duo just achieved, but the work to get to this point started a year ago.

“George and I have been preparing this moment as soon as we lost at sectionals last year,” said Sheldon. “We knew in order to have a chance at state this year, we would need to have a very productive offseason. This winter we played a lot at Western Racquet, which is where sectionals (and subsectionals) was held this year. This definitely helped in the fact that we knew how to play indoors.”

“Tristan and I have played very well together this season,” said Buerman. “We have a lot of trust in each other and our play styles compliment each other’s abilities.”

In the duo’s second match at sectionals, they fell 6-0, 6-2 to eventual champion Notre Dame. Buerman and Sheldon were topped 6-2, 6-3 by a duo from West De Pere in the third-place match.

The Shawano pair are set to open state at 12:45 p.m. on June 1 against Madison LaFollette. State matches are being played at Nielsen Stadium in Madison.

Buerman and Sheldon head to state with their goals lined up and eager to show what they can do.

“Tristan and I expect to be competitive against every opponent we play and keep a good mindset throughout the tournament,” said Buerman. “For this to happen we need to not back off the intensity in this week of practices leading up to state.”

“At state this Thursday, our goal is to be very competitive with whatever teams are thrown at us,” said Sheldon. “In the end, win or lose, it is very special for us to be able to give our coaches this experience, and we look forward to being able to use this opportunity to grow as players.”