Don’t bother telling Boise State men’s tennis coach Greg Patton that fall is the offseason – he doesn’t care.
Patton’s belief is the only way to set yourself up for a great spring is to put in work during the fall, something the Broncos did over the weekend hosting the Dar Walter’s Tennis Classic.
True freshman Brendan McClain proved the hype surrounding his top 10 ranking among high school seniors last season. He won the title in the singles Open Draw before teaming up with Garrett Patton to win the doubles Open Draw title over fellow Broncos Brian Foley and Thomas Tenreiro.
Foley and fellow sophomore Toby Mitchell were both eliminated in the quarterfinals of the singles Blue Draw.
“Our season is definitely a reflection of how we prepared in fall,” Patton said. “I’ve been coaching for 37 years and I know what happens in fall – guys build confidence.”
“A warrior becomes a warrior by going to war.”
Patton was in awe by the performance from McClain in his first major collegiate tournament.
McClain, a Ventura, Calif. native, where he was one of the nation’s top junior tennis players, bounced back to defeat the University of Idaho’s Abid Akbar before besting Tenreiro, 6-4, 7-5.
Akbar is an assistant coach for the Vandals.
“McClain really stepped up and lived up to all the hoopla that we thought of him,” Patton said. “He’s just blossoming (in college.) You could give him a little fertilizer and he’ll turn into a forest.”
The successful outing at the Dar Walter’s hasn’t earned the Broncos the chance to relax – it only gets tougher for them from here on out with a trip to California for the Battle of the Bay.
Normally just a tournament for Californian schools, Boise State received an invitation to the high-profile tournament pitting some of the best tennis teams in California against one another.
Despite the great competition, Patton will be leaving Andy Bettles, arguably one of the top up-and-coming tennis players in the nation after an impressive berth in the quarterfinals of the All-American Championships, in order to give the younger players an opportunity to get more experience under their belts.
After that Boise State will take their entire squad to Las Vegas for the ITA Mountain Regional with the expectation of walking away with the trophy.
“Our goal is to win the Mountain West and make it to the Sweet 16,” Patton said. “We’ll see where we go from there.”