While the Warren County High School spring sports teams saw their seasons end last week, two senior boy athletes had a chance Tuesday to continue their careers.
Senior tennis player Bryce Caten and senior long jumper Drew Curry each traveled to events in hopes of making it to the state tournament, but each fell a little bit short.
Caten was defeated in the semifinals of the individual Region 3-AAA tournament held in Athens, while Curry fell an inch short of advancing to the state tournament while competing in the sectionals at Rhea County High School.
Caten knew his opponent when he arrived in Athens. At last year’s Boys State, Caten became friends with Bryson Lype from Ooltewah. The duo found themselves across the net from each other Tuesday with a bid to the state tournament on the line.
Caten fell in straight sets to his friend, losing 6-1 and 6-0. Lype would go on to defeat Lee Presson from Cumberland County in the finals to advance to the state tournament.
After playing his final match of his senior year, Caten reminisced on a career that saw him help the Pioneers claim two District 6-AAA titles.
“As I left the court, I couldn’t help thinking of how much this tennis season has been and how blessed I have been to be a part of it,” said Caten. “It has a been a blast and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m proud to call myself a Pioneer.”
Curry was the last WCHS track member standing when he traveled to Rhea County High School to compete in sectionals Tuesday. Last week, Curry broke the school record in the long jump at Rhea County in the subsectionals to move one step closer to the state tournament.
This week, Curry couldn’t replicate his record-breaking leap from a week ago. Curry’s best attempt was 19 feet, five inches, which feel one inch short of making the top four and qualifying for the state tournament.
Curry had difficulty landing each jump, eventually planting his hand down behind him for balance. The jump was measured to the hand print, which left Curry just short of the state tournament.
Afterwards, Curry - who leapt 20’3” last week - blamed the shorter jump on his lack of a pregame snack.
“I didn’t have my Gummy Bears this time,” said Curry. “Last week we stopped and I got some, then went out and broke the record. This week we stopped at the same place and they were out.
“It was fun and I’m proud of how far I advanced this year.”
Coach Jim Duvall, who accompanied Curry to Tuesday’s event, was extremely proud of the standout senior.
“Drew gave it his all,” said Duvall. “He did a great job this season.”