CLINTON — Ryan Schroeder is no stranger to the Iowa High School boys tennis state tournament. Teammate Jacob Kruse never has advanced that far.
Schroeder credited Kruse’s desire to make it for helping the pair of Clinton seniors to advance Thursday by winning the doubles championship at the Class 2A district meet held at the Ashford Tennis Center. Schroeder will make his third trip to the state meet — he and 2012 graduate Mitch Schumacher qualified the past two years, placing sixth last spring — in two weeks in Cedar Rapids.
“(Kruse) was really determined because he took last year off and the two years before that he went for singles (and didn’t qualify),” Schroeder said. “I was (determined), too. I wanted to go back. The fact that I had been there and knew what it was like and how competitive it would be, we worked off that.”
The River Kings placed second in the team race with 24 points, two points behind Marion Linn-Mar.
“Clinton had a complete team effort, with everyone contributing points to the team,” Clinton coach David Moore said.
Kruse and Schroeder defeated Trevor McCann and John Kuster of Linn-Mar 6-4, 6-2 in Thursday’s championship. McCann and Kuster also finished second in their district meet last year and advanced to state but didn’t place.
“That was good competition heading into state,” Schroeder said. “We were hyped up from our previous match that guaranteed our spot (at state). We knew that going to state would be even a better feeling (if we won). It also gives us a better shot for a seed at state, and that’s a really big deal.
Schroeder and Kruse were guaranteed a trip to state when they beat Dubuque Senior’s Gabe Mozena and Gus Zuccaro 6-4, 6-1 in the semifinals.
Schroeder said the Clinton duo had an edge with the meet being moved indoors.