After playing mostly doubles as a junior, Luke Red was happy to be back playing singles his senior season.
Columbus North was the beneficiary of Red’s return to the top of the lineup. He led the Bull Dogs to an undefeated regular season and sectional and regional championships and is The Republic Athlete of the Year for Boys Tennis for the second consecutive year.
“I was obviously more comfortable with singles because that’s what I’ve played, and doubles wasn’t really my game,” Red said. “I enjoyed playing doubles, but I’m better at singles, and this year, it was better for the team for me to play singles, whereas last year, it was best for me to play doubles.”
Red went 15-4 at No. 1 singles, with his losses coming against some of the state’s top players. He just missed making first-team All-State and was the top player on the second team singles list.
“It was amazing,” Red said. “It was the best year I’ve had, and it was great all the way up until semistate. Other than that, for me or the team, I don’t think it could have gone any better.”
“He made a nice adjustment from playing doubles last year to singles,” North coach Kendal Hammel said. “He did everything for the most part that we asked him to do. He maybe had a couple matches here and there that got away from him that he would have liked to have won.”
Red credits much of his development to playing in summer clinics at Center Grove.
“I got some better competition, and that’s probably what helped me the most,” Red said. “When I stay here, I don’t have to think too hard about what I do to beat people, but up there, I have to think really hard.”
Although he plans to play in USTA tournaments this winter and keep practicing with Hammel and Rahmon Smiley at Tipton Lakes Athletic Club, Red isn’t sure if he’ll continue his tennis career in college. He will make his first college visit on Saturday to Indiana University-Southeast.
If he doesn’t play, Red likely will attend IU. He is thinking of majoring in psychology and possibly business and Spanish.
“If I decide to play, I’ll go to a small school close to here in Indiana,” Red said. “I’ll see how the visit goes to IU-
Southeast, and that will help my decision to whether I need to visit more schools or not.”
Red, a four-year varsity player, won team MVP and Bull Dog Player awards this season. He also was a team captain and is an honorable mention Academic All-State selection.
“For what he’s done the last four years, from being the leader and being the captain and being the top player, from when we run and when we condition, just the little things were what made him stand out,” Hammel said.
Rally time The Republic All-Area Boys Tennis Team:
Luke Red, Columbus North: The senior went 15-4 at No. 1 singles and earned second-team All-State honors.
Anthony Sanders, Columbus North: The junior went 20-2 at No. 1 doubles and earned first-team All-State honors.
Jake Likens, Columbus North: The junior went 20-2 at No. 1 doubles and earned first-team All-State honors.
Krishan Narsinghani, Columbus North: The senior went 11-8, mostly at No. 2 singles.
Rahul Jha, Columbus North: The sophomore went 19-1, mostly at No. 3 singles.
Kevin Luo, Columbus North: The sophomore went 19-2, mostly at No. 2 doubles, and earned honorable mention All-State honors.
Aditya Mantri, Columbus North: The sophomore went 20-1 at No. 2 doubles and earned honorable mention All-State honors.
Matt Fuehne, Columbus East: The senior went 15-5 at No. 1 singles and 3-0 at No. 2 singles and earned honorable mention All-State honors.
Seth Meyer, Columbus East: The junior went 4-2 at No. 1 and 15-0 at No. 2 singles and earned honorable mention All-State honors.
Alex Pegram, Columbus East: The senior went 14-0 at No. 3 singles and 5-1 at No. 1 doubles.
Honorable mention: Brown County: Bryce Fish, Nathan Miller, Evan Rose. Columbus East: Jo Jo Woolwine, Sammy Woolwine, Alex Galle, Matt Furnish. Columbus North: Mitchell Miller. Edinburgh: Kinser Bryant. Hauser: Kyle Benedict, Joel Benedict, Zane Urbans. Jennings County: Owen Land, Tod Brown, Avery Johnson, Jacob Woods. Seymour: Alex Craig, Ben Coomer, Andrew Rudge, Seth Stuckwisch. Trinity Lutheran: Henry Welker.