CHARLESTON — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School Buccaneers Tennis Team duo of Caden Andrick and Aden Pitts, recently represented B-U at the 2022 West Virginia State High School Championships, which started on Thursday, May 12 and wrapped up on Saturday, May 14. The pair of Bucs posted strong showings at the Kanawha City Community Center Tennis Facility.
Indisputably two of the best players in Class-AAA, Region I competition all year long, Pitts and Andrick each earned opening round wins last weekend to cap off brilliant careers. Andrick won his opening round match in #2-seed singles play on Thursday, beating Washington’s Jack Schottler 8-4 to advance to the next round. Andrick fell in the second round to Cabel Midland’s talented Aidan Cottrell, by a score of 8-0, abruptly ending his run at a state title after a very strong start to the day.
Later in the day, the two doubles partners picked up a win in the first-round of #1-seed doubles action, Jefferson High School’s pairing of Cole Gore and Grayson Swisher in a back and forth affair, by a 9-7 score on Thursday.
After a short break, Aden and Caden took the court for another, this time pitted against the Cabell Midland duo of Aiden Cottrell and Ashton Cottrell. Andrick and Pitts fell to the team of Cottrells by an 8-0 count, officially bringing their seasons and careers to a close.
Andrick took a moment to reflect on his experience at states this past weekend, saying, “My overall thoughts before my trip to the state tournament were just those of pure excitement. Having earned my way to states as a freshman, I remember the atmosphere being unlike any tournament I had ever been too. Being able to see such high class competition from around the state, it really gives you a greater appreciation for the sport of tennis. As for the actual tennis portion, I was able to make it past the first round in both singles and doubles before losing to Cabell Midland in the second round of both brackets. Overall, I am happy with my performance and being able to wrap up my high school tennis career at the state tournament, there is not much more I could ask for.”
Coach Jason Rock offered his analysis and takeaways from Andrick’s individual states performance, saying, “The day started with the first two rounds of singles for #1-seeds and #2-seeds. Caden made the tournament for the #2-seeds so he played mid-morning in his first against Washington, where he came away with an 8-4 win. Washington has always been a solid tennis program from back when they were in our region years ago. The match was back and forth at first and Caden had to adjust, but he played really well and wore the kid down with his consistency. After a break of maybe 45 minutes, he played his second round match against the Cabell Midland’s #1-seed from Class AAA, Region 4, which in my opinion is probably the toughest region in the state. The sun and heat were in full force at this point, with 80+ degree temperatures weather conditions impacting the entire field starting around noon. Caden had already played a match, while his opponent was resting because he had a bye. I think you could tell the other kid had fresh legs, but he was also good. He was left-handed which gave Caden a little trouble when he hit slice serves because Caden hasn’t played a lefty in singles all year. Caden played well and held his own, but eventually lost 0-8.”
Rock continued, detailing his thoughts on the duo’s day in terms of #1-seed doubles action, saying, “In the opening round Caden and Aden played a doubles team from Jefferson, which proved to be a a very interesting match between contrasting styles. The one kid from Jefferson was a really good player and by far the stronger player on his doubles team. His teammate looked much younger and smaller but still had okay shots and could hold a solid volley. The gameplan for us honestly was to pick on the younger, weaker player and force him to make shots. They adjusted though and got up on us 6-2 at one point. To be fair, Aden was just getting over having the flu a few days before so he was a little rusty with his shots and not moving as crisply as maybe he would have otherwise. Doe site this, the boys slowly, but surely fought back, and even fought off a couple match points to pull out the win, 9-7. I was really proud of how much fight and grit the boys showed. To stave off elimination, fight off two match points, and come back from being down multiple breaks show how bad they wanted it and they deserved the win. The second day started with two rounds of doubles, so Aden and Caden were on court first thing at 8 a.m. to square off against Cabell Midland. We’d already seen the #2 in Caden’s singles match, but his partner was his younger brother who was the one seed. One brother left-handed, one brother right-handed, both being six-feet tall heavy hitters. We had our work cut out for us. We played really solid, high-quality tennis the other team was just a little better. We lost 0-8. Regardless of the outcome I am so proud of what these boys have accomplished this season. They represented themselves and our school well. Both those guys have put so much time and effort into their game and the team and I’m really happy they made it to states and we got some wins at states. I consider those guys the biggest leaders on our team and they both work hard to be the best they can be on and off the courts. For them to make it to states and get some wins on the state’s biggest stage for high school tennis was the cherry on top of a great season.”