When referring to the team that goes by the name "Steamboat Springs High School boys tennis team" the title should be used loosely.
If the team was named after the high schools of the players who reside in the high school area, it would be more accurate to call it the Steamboat/Battle Mountain/Lowell-Whiteman/Moffat County High School boys tennis team. Keeping along those lines, the mascot of the team would be some sort of sea-faring dog.
Moffat County has two representatives on the team. Juniors Taylor Reed and Brian Berhman are in their third year as Sailor tennis players. Last week in Steamboat, they helped the team win its seventh consecutive regional title.
"Nobody on our team dropped a set so we dominated," Reed said. "Our team has a lot of depth this year."
The Sailors are deep enough that last year's No. 1 and No. 2 singles players are now playing as the No. 1 doubles team. Reed moved up from No. 3 singles player to No. 2 this year.
"I worked hard to get better, and it paid off," he said. "But since I moved up, this year has been tougher for me."
Things didn't change much for Berhman from last year. He has the same partner, Dylan Roberts, and the same spot at No. 4 doubles. They finished fourth in the state last year.
"Everybody on our team improved over the off season," he said. "So while we're in the same spot, we are a better, deeper team."
Today, the team members leave for the state tournament in Pueblo. Because SSHS doesn't fund the team, the athletes travel separately.
The conglomerate of players from different places (two of the players from Lowell Whiteman are boarding students from Michigan and Florida) still have a sense of team going into the state tournament.
"We want to be in the top three," Berhman said.
Individually, the local athletes hope to improve on last year's performance. Reed, 13-6, lost his first match 7-6, 7-6 last year and was out.
He faces Dustin McCurry of CaÃ±on City in the first round.
Berhman and Roberts, 15-4, face Travis Hensely and Ryan Hoffmeier of Ralston Valley.
If things go well and the Steamboat team finishes in the top three and receives a trophy, one question will remain -- where does the trophy go?
They both laughed at the suggestion of cutting it into four pieces.
"I hope they put it in the tennis center, so we can see it," Reed said. "If they put it in the high school, we probably won't get a chance to see it."