Despite being named second-team All-Olympian Conference at No. 1 singles, Roncalli senior boys tennis player and 2012 Herald Times Reporter Boys Tennis Athlete of the Year Lucas Waak rode his No. 2 seed at the WIAA Division 2 State Boys Tennis Tournament to a second-place finish, the best of any local singles player.
Waak, who is repeating as the HTR’s Boys Tennis Athlete of the Year, finished the season with a 30-3 overall record and was a first-team D2 All-State singles selection.
Lucas has been the No. 1 singles player for the Jets since his sophomore season, and qualified for State in each of those seasons.
He would advance to the second round at State his sophomore season and returned sharper the following season, not losing his first match until the championship match at the WIAA D2 sectionals against Notre Dame’s Scott Wall.
“Lucas really exemplified the Roncalli tennis team motto, ‘Win with class, lose with dignity,'” Roncalli coach Bob Nelson said about Waak’s impact on the team. “He never belittled a player he defeated and the few times he did lose, he lost with dignity which rubs off on the younger players.”
At State his junior year, Waak won his first two matches before falling to eventual champion and No. 1 seed Andrew Hwang of University School of Milwaukee.
The Waak-Wall rivalry continued in each player’s senior year, with Wall handing Waak one of just two losses of the season prior to the State finals. In a rematch of last year’s sectional championship, Waak exacted revenge by defeating Wall 7-6 (6-0), 2-6, 6-0 to claim the title.
With two seasons of state experience under his belt, Waak won both his matches on the tournament’s second day enjoying the benefits of a first-round bye. He would advance all the way to the championship match on day before falling to Zane Navratil of The Prairie School.
Waak finishes his journey at Roncalli with a silver medal, but he’ll continue his illustrious tennis career at Valparaiso in the fall.
All-Area Boys Tennis Team
* Lucas Waak (30-3), (Sr.), Roncalli (POY)
* Jordan Verbauwhede (22-10), (Sr), Manitowoc Lincoln
* Brett Giesen (28-3), (So.), Roncalli
* Hayden Boettcher (18-5), (So.), Roncalli
* Jake Rohrer, (Jr.), and Nick Schroeder, (Jr.) (19-9), Manitowoc Lincoln
* Tommy Arnette, (Sr.), and David Wronkowski, (So.) (15-4), Manitowoc Lincoln
* Brian Ruedinger, (Jr.), and Brice Ruedinger, (So.) (14-5), Two Rivers