The 2023 Missouri Military Academy tennis season ended with a third straight district title — and the right to compete at the state tournament. The Colonels ultimately placed in the top eight Class 2 teams and advanced three players to the state individual tournament.
The Colonels competed against schools from St. Louis and Hannibal in the regular season and completed the season with a 10-2 record. On May 11, 2023, the Colonels won their first Class 2 district title match 5-1 against Hannibal at home.
Cadets Gorka-Aitor Yarte-Zertuche, Patricio Bravo Knobloch and Samuel Way competed in the Class 2 state individual tournament on May 18 in Springfield. Cadet Yarte-Zertuche competed in singles but lost both matches. Cadets Knobloch and Way competed in doubles and also lost both matches.
This season, three cadet athletes broke the 1992 school career wins record of 48 wins. Senior Cadet Yarte-Zertuche completed his MMA career with a 55-28 record. Junior Cadets Way and Dempsey also broke the 1992 record with 64-27 and 63-22 records, respectively.
While competing against Class 2 teams, the cadets played against bigger and stronger tennis programs than they had previously played in Class 1. At sectionals, the Colonels lost to Notre Dame (Cape Girardeau) on May 15, just one match short of repeating last year’s final four placement.
The Colonels tennis team is already looking forward to next year’s season.
"Senior Yarte-Zertuche and juniors Way and Dempsey have set a great culture of winning on our team and that leadership carried over to all the new cadets on the team this year,” head coach Brad Smith said in an interview with the Mexico Ledger ("Missouri Military Academy tennis concludes season with several record breakers," 27 May 2023). “We played hard and saw how great class 2 tennis is in Missouri. We look forward to making it back to state in the future.”