A shoulder injury cost Edmond North's David Hager most of his sophomore tennis season.
But it didn't stop him from successfully defending his Class 6A No. 2 singles championship, which he won by topping Jenks' Grant Bond in two sets Monday.
“To come back and get a win at state, it feels really good,” Hager said.
Hager played in three tournaments — and won all of them — with shoulder pain before being diagnosed with tendinosis in the middle of March.
He had to take about three weeks off completely, then began easing his way back into the sport. He returned at regionals last week and won to earn his spot at state.
“I'm proud of what he's done,” said Edmond North coach Dee Ann Wallar. “He's helped the team a whole lot. He definitely is a strong player and helps the team overall.”
Edmond North won its third consecutive Class 6A boys tennis team championship by sweeping all four individual titles Monday. Junior Nate Roper, last year's runner-up at No. 1 singles, beat Jenks' Chase Gordo, and the Huskies' No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams each won as well.
“I'm fortunate to have a lot of players who put the time in,” Wallar said. “They are quality players. I can play them when I need to.
“It just goes to their desire to try to be better and make that lineup. They push each other every year to earn those spots in the top six.”
It's a deep, talented roster that has sustained Edmond North during its three-peat, and when top players are injured. Various players filled in at No. 2 singles for the Huskies throughout the year while Hager was rehabbing his injured shoulder.
“We're lucky ... we have a lot of good players,” Roper said. “Everyone works hard and tries hard.
“We missed David, and we're glad he's back and healthy.”
Baylor Spring, part of the No. 2 doubles title team, is the only senior in Edmond North's rotation, so the Huskies already feel confident about making it four team titles in a row next season.
“We lose one senior, but I think we're going to be very good again next year,” Hager said.