Kyler Hartman already had one state tennis title in hand, winning a 5A boys doubles championship as a freshman at Hillcrest High. He already had his college career lined up, having signed with Idaho State.
So what better way to end his high school career than with another run at a state championship, this time with his younger brother Tegan at first-year school Thunder Ridge.
“I knew everyone we had to play and had confidence we could beat them,” said Kyler, who teamed up with Tegan to finish the season undefeated and collect the 5A doubles state championship.
Kyler also adds another accolade to his collection, earning All-Area Boys Tennis Player of the Year from the Post Register for the fourth time. As a freshman, he shared the award with then doubles partner Spencer Neville. This year he shares it with his brother Tegan.
Both Kyler and Tegan play almost every day and spend endless hours hitting with each other or playing in tournaments. When the decision was made that they would team up for doubles this season, the two shared one goal.
“I knew we could win from the start,” said Tegan, who was a sophomore this past season and did not play as a freshman due to injury. He noted there was some pressure to perform up the expectations set by Kyler and their father Heath, the coach at Thunder Ridge, but once on the court, the brothers took care of business.
“I feel we played pretty good every match,” Tegan said, adding the exception may have been in the state finals match against Eagle.
“I was low on energy,” Tegan said. “I was probably nervous.”
After losing the first set, the brothers eventually regrouped for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory.
The tennis schedule is expected to be busy for both players this summer. Each will take on a new role next season as Kyler begins playing for the Bengals and Tegan said he is excited to play singles his upcoming junior season at Thunder Ridge.