Cheney Free Press -


Staff Reporter 

Hawks defeat Stags on way to district tennis play


The Cheney High School boys’ tennis team capped off their regular season with a 5-2 win over Deer Park, May 15. With an 8-7 record and a fourth-place finish in the Great Northern League (GNL) under their belts, the Blackhawks are now getting ready for districts, May 23-24, in Pullman.

Representing Cheney in singles competition will be Solomon Springberry, Tristan Bennett and Luke Huguenin.

Bennett and Huguenin spent the beginning of the season playing doubles before making the transition to singles.

Springberry missed some matches due to illness, though he picked up wins throughout the season. He dropped his last match to the Deer Park’s Niamh Lakewolf, 6-2, 6-0.

“The effort was there, but Solomon couldn’t get things going,” boys’ tennis head coach Jesse Erickson said. “If he focuses, he can do well at districts.”

Two teams that will represent Cheney in doubles will be Mason Van Stone and Ryan Axtell, and Shogo Starr and Adam Passey.

Van Stone and Axtell mostly played singles before moving to doubles toward the end of the season. After dropping their first few matches, the duo picked up their first victory over Pullman’s Miles Saul and Jake Weirich — the No. 1 doubles team in the GNL — earlier this month. They beat Deer Park’s Izaak Curry and Mike Duarte, 6-2, 6-0.

“Mason and Ryan played very well in that match,” Erickson said. “They’ve been focusing on their serves and are both getting comfortable. If they play their best, they can beat anybody.”

Unlike Van Stone and Axtell, Starr and Passey have been teammates all season, racking up several victories. They snapped their three-match losing streak after defeating Deer Park’s Josh Wender and Ashton Epler.

Brandon Foster and Talmadge Dickson will be the third doubles team for the Blackhawks. Both players have victories in doubles action earlier this season. Dickson competed in doubles with Bennett in last year’s districts.

Al Stover can be reached at


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