By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor
The Jenks High School tennis machine continues to roll.
The Trojans, as they have done every year, won the team championship Wednesday in the Joplin Invitational boys tennis tournament at the Joplin Athletic Complex.
Jenks and the host Eagles both won their two pool matches, and Jenks won the championship match 8-1 over the Eagles.
On the all-tournament team, determined on fewest games lost, Jenks players claimed eight of the 12 spots in singles and four of six positions in doubles.
“Jenks is strong every year,” Joplin coach Sean McWilliams said, “and this year they are stronger than they have ever been. They finished second in state last year (Oklahoma Class 6A), and they have all six players back. They have already beaten the defending state champion (Edmond North) in a tournament earlier this year.”
The Eagles’ Jeremy Lynn won top honors at No. 1 singles, winning his three matches 8-0 over Wade McCormick of North Kansas City, 8-1 over Braden Singleton of Jenks’ junior varsity and 8-2 over Mitchell Worley of Jenks.
The Eagles’ Edran Ali was second team on the all-tournament team at No. 3 singles, and Lynn and Luke Frogge were second team at No. 1 doubles.
The closest match in the championship round came at No. 1 doubles where Lynn-Frogge lost to Jenks’ Mitchell Worley-Chase Gordon 8-6.
“I’m proud of our kids,” McWilliams said. “You want to play a strong team like Jenks to see how you compete. And it makes you better in the season when you play in a tough tournament like this and against a tough early season schedule like we have.”
The Eagles won their closest match of the day, a 5-4 decision over Jenks’ junior varsity. Brooks Butler’s 8-6 victory over Carter Files at No. 4 singles gave Joplin the decisive point.
“Jenks’ B team is very tough,” McWilliams said. “Brooks Butler stayed mentally tough and won a long match.”
Central edged Jenks B 5-4 in the third-place match, and Thomas Jefferson won fifth place with a 5-4 victory over North Kansas City as the Cavaliers’ John Burnett won 8-4 at No. 3 singles for the deciding point.
Thomas Jefferson also received victories from Frank Cascone and Preston Carpenter in singles and Cascone-Burnett and Carpenter-Michael Joseph in doubles.
“Playing Jenks right off the bat is tough,” Cavaliers coach Tom Brumfield said. “Actually playing Jenks at any time is tough, as the other teams found out. It was really good to finish on a good note at the end after a long day.”
Joplin has another home match at 4 p.m. today against Glendale.
Thomas Jefferson, whose 10-man roster consists of two juniors, one sophomore and seven freshmen, returns to action Monday at Carthage.