Jack Burger returns a shot  during a 7-5, 6-2 loss to Colorado Academy's Matt Greene in the semifinal match Friday at the state high school tennis championships in Pueblo.

Photo by John F. Russell

Jack Burger returns a shot during a 7-5, 6-2 loss to Colorado Academy's Matt Greene in the semifinal match Friday at the state high school tennis championships in Pueblo.

Steamboat tennis team's state title hopes end

Burger brothers to be back on court today playing for 3rd


— Keegan and Jack Burger will not be playing for titles in today’s final round of the 2010 State 4A Boys’ Tennis Champion­­­ship at Pueblo City Park, but the Steam­­boat Sp­­rings Sailors still have a shot at bringing home a third-place medal.

The brothers shook off a rough start that saw an end to the players’ state title dreams, but they bounced back in the playback rounds Friday and earned the right to get back on the court.

Keegan Burger fell to Ni­­wot’s Harrison Lang in a controversial 6-3, 6-3 match in the No. 1 singles bracket, and his brother Jack Burger lost to Colorado Academy’s Matt Greene in the No. 3 singles bracket.

Keegan Burger opened the day by winning the first three games of the first set but dropped the next six games.

“When Keegan went up, 3-0, he started playing safe instead of the way he had been playing where he was hitting to win,” Sailors coach John Aragon said. “Once Keegan played safe, (Lang) was able to force Keegan into making some errors.”

The two players battled through a hard-fought second set, but after losing a swing game and falling behind, 5-3, Keegan Burger expressed his anger by bouncing his racket off the court and back into his hand. The decision cost him the match. The official, who already had penalized the Steamboat player a point earlier in the match for racket abuse, issued a second, more stern penalty. This time, the infraction carried a game penalty and gave Lang the 6-3 second-set victory.

“The official made the right call,” Ara­gon said. “You can’t fault the official; he was just doing his job.”

Things didn’t go much better for Keegan Burger’s brother Jack Burger, who was playing Greene on an adjacent court.

“He was just an extremely consistent player,” Jack Burger said. “And when I had a chance to win the set, I could not hold my serve.”

Greene held off a late rally to win the first set, 7-5. In the second, the Colorado Academy player pulled away, winning in a 6-2 decision and earning the right to play for the state title.

“He’s a really good player, and I’m just happy that I got the chance to play in the semifinals,” Jack Burger said.

However, the brothers turned things around in the afternoon. Keegan Burger apologized to his teammates and coaches for his actions in the first match of the day and took care of business on the court with a 6-2, 6-4 decision against Cheyenne Mountain’s Jon Moore.

“It’s hard to get over a match like that in the semifinals. I tried my best, and it worked out,” Keegan Burger said.

Jack Burger also rebounded by topping Mullen’s Zachary Bran­­igan, 6-4, 6-3. Both Steam­boat players will be back on the court today playing for third place.

Keegan Burger will face Kent Denver’s Jack Reynolds, and Jack Burger will go up against Niwot’s Chris Gang. Reynolds beat Aspen’s Bryan Mehall in the playback, 6-2, 6-4. Gang topped Evergreen’s Bryan Rep­ko, 6-1, 6-1.

Steamboat’s No.1 and No. 2 doubles teams were hoping to get pulled back into the tournament after falling in the quarterfinals. However, Broomfield lost to Cheyenne Mountain to keep Steamboat’s Kyle Rogers and Luke Farny out of the playbacks at No. 1 doubles, and Cheyenne Mountain also beat Kent Denver in the No. 2 doubles semifinal match, ending any chance for Steamboat’s Gabri Erspamer and Colin Green to get back into the mix.

The Sailors are in sixth place in the team standings with 20 points and have no chance of moving up in the standings today. Cheyenne Mountain had the inside track on the team title with 65 points. Niwot is in second with 50 points, and Colorado Academy is in third with 40 points. Kent Denver (35) and Mullen (33) round out the top five.

Today’s final round begins at 9 a.m. at Pueblo City Park

Class 4A state tennis CHAMPIONSHIPS


Opening Round

No. 1 singles

Keegan Burger (Steamboat Springs) def. John Lambert (Bishop Machebeuf) 6-0, 6-0

No. 2 singles

Zack Kusick (Broomfield) def. Mirko Erspamer (Steamboat) 6-1, 6-1

No. 3 singles

Jack Burger (Steamboat) def. Matthew Jordan (D’Evelyn) 6-0, 6-1

No. 1 doubles

Kyle Rogers/Luke Farny (Steamboat) def. C.J. O’Neil/Jacob Vaughn (Golden) 6-3, 6-4

No. 2 doubles

Gabri Erspamer/Colin Green (Steamboat) def. Matt Stern/Ryan Smith (Alexander Dawson) 7-5, 6-3

No. 3 doubles

Cameron Sadler/Garrett Smith (Evergreen) def. Stefan Sortland/Erik Owen (Steamboat) 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 3-6


No.1 singles

Keegan Burger (Steamboat) def. Eric Tamm (Longmont) 6-1, 6-1

No. 3 singles

Jack Burger (Steamboat) def. Matt Depinto (Broomfield) 6-4, 6-1

No.1 doubles

Greg Drery/Jake Gardner (Broomfield) def. Kyle Rogers/Luke Farny (Steamboat) 6-4, 6-0

No. 2 doubles

Kamiar Coffey/Jeff Ellenoff (Kent Denver) def. Gabri Erspamer/Colin Green (Steamboat) 6-3, 6-4


No.1 singles

Harrison Lang (Niwot) def. Keegan Burger (Steamboat) 6-3, 6-3

No. 3 singles

Matt Greene (Colorado Academy) def. Jack Burger (Steamboat) 7-5, 6-2


No. 1 singles

Keegan Burger (Steamboat) def. Jon Moore (Cheyenne Mountain) 6-2, 6-4

No. 3 singles

Jack Burger (Steamboat) def. Zachary Branigan (Mullen) 6-4, 6-3

Finals – to be played today

No.1 singles

Keegan Burger (Steamboat) will face Jack Reynolds (Kent Denver) for third

No. 3 singles

Jack Burger (Steamboat) will face Chris Gang (Niwot) for third

Team Standings

Cheyenne Mountain 65, Niwot 50, Colorado Academy 40, Kent Denver 35, Mullen 33, Steamboat Springs 20, Broomfield 12, , Longmont 12, Discovery Canyon 8, Evergreen 7, Thompson Valley 2, Air Academy 2, Pueblo Central 2, Aspen 2, Alexander Dawson 2, Golden1, Pueblo County 1.


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