Buerman, Sheldon the top boys tennis players after state trip

Shawano takes top team honor
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

Boys tennis is a sport for just two area high schools, but there were still some strong seasons put together this spring.

The best season was produced by Shawano’s No. 1 doubles team of George Buerman and Tristan Sheldon, who were named the NEW Media Inc. Players of the Year.

Buerman and Sheldon enjoyed a strong regular season and then went on to qualify for state. At state, the Hawk duo won a match.

“One thing that helped me with this season was staying in a tennis mindset and continually playing tennis this offseason,” said Buerman. “Just playing with Tristan really gave us a good head start in not having to take two weeks to get back into tennis.”

Sheldon also mentioned a “consistent offseason,” as well as receiving motivation from teammates as to reasons why the duo was able to be so successful this year.

After earning several wins during the regular season, Buerman and Sheldon got into the postseason swing with a second-place finish at the Bay Conference Tournament. The duo rallied from a set down to secure a spot in the first-place match while there.

Gritty wins like that typified the season as a whole for the No. 1 doubles team.

After a 6-3, 6-0 win at subsectionals got them into sectionals, Buerman and Sheldon claimed a 6-2, 1-6, 11-9 victory over Kimberly to punch their ticket to state.

The upset win was each player’s favorite individual moment from this spring season.

“George and I relied on each other all season to help calm emotions during big moments,” said Sheldon. “No matter how big of a match we had, I knew I could count on George to keep me in a good mindset.”

“One way that Tristan and I stayed composed in big matches was always talking to each other, and not letting ourselves get in our own heads,” said Buerman. “Also, the constant support from coaching and family/friends motivated us to perform well. I’m not saying we weren’t nervous, because I was shaking nervous before our big matches.”

While the duo dropped their final two matches at sectionals, the only thing that mattered to Buerman and Sheldon was making it to state in Madison.

Buerman and Sheldon had one more gritty win in them at state, prevailing 6-2, 2-6, 13-11 in their first state match. It was a unforgettable moment for the pair, and they added it will give them something to build on going into their senior seasons next spring.

The duo dropped their second state match, ending their season with a 15-7 overall record.

“A top reason that we were successful was staying in points and being patient, waiting for them to make a mistake,” said Buerman.” Also our motivation and energy we brought to each other after each point fueled us.”

Buerman’s favorite team moment from the season came in a loss against Menasha, but the setback was a confidence booster with each flight playing tight matches.

Sheldon’s favorite moment was the team’s senior night.

“My favorite team moment was senior night because of how much they contributed to our success,” said Sheldon. “We cannot do what we do without them and they will all be very missed next year. Next year we will have a very large group of seniors so we hope to be good role models for the rest of the team.”

Honorable mentions

Pulaski’s No. 1 doubles team of Eric Sperduto and Jacob Ebent also made it to sectionals this spring after a win at subsectionals.

Justin Freadrich (No. 2) and Donovan Holderness (No. 4) earned singles wins at subsectionals for Pulaski.

Shawano’s No. 2 doubles team of Isaac Welander and Tristan Tetting and the No. 3 doubles team of Andrew Vandenheuvel and Seth Williams also picked up a subsectional win this spring.

Team of the Year

Shawano is this spring’s Team of the Year after a fifth-place finish in the Bay Conference.

All three doubles teams finished in the top three at the conference tournament before a win each at the subsectional.