WATERLOO - The Cherokee Braves decorated doubles team of Cole Renken and Nick Parker finished their prep careers in style with a 5th-place medal finish and a 4-1 record at last week's Class 1A IHSAA Boys State Tennis Tournament here.
In second round play Friday, the Braves duo dropped their only match of the day, 6-4, 1-6, 1-6 to Dubuque Wahlert's Moore and Runde.
Renken and Parker then regrouped to win all three matches in the consolation bracket, beating Spencer's Jacobson and Wakefield 6-3, 6-2 Friday afternoon; and on Saturday overcoming Pella's Gerber and Wesemann 7-6 (7-5 tiebreaker), 6-4; and defeating Davenport Assumption's Schneden and Jorge 6-2, 6-1 for their 5th place medal.
"Under virtually ideal weather conditions, Nick and Cole put together some of the best doubles play of their careers to secure their medals in convincing fashion," noted Cherokee coach Dave Zelle, who has announced his retirement as Washington High School teacher/coach effective at the close of this school year.
"This was a great finish for Nick and Cole as they close out their high school career with a spiffy 38-9 record in three years as doubles partners. Cole and Nick also respectively sport 36-12, 28-11 varsity career singles records at WHS.
Led by seniors Renken and Parker, the 2010 Braves finished third in the rugged Lakes Conference and just missed qualifying for a Substate Team State berth for the third successive year, following a narrow 5-4 Substate loss to Lakes Conference runner-up Le Mars. Spencer won the Lakes team title this season, after the Braves won the 2009 Lakes crown for their first conference championship in school history.