Jack Dykema waited until his senior season to play his best tennis.
That’s often what happens for high school players, but that the West De Pere standout took his game to another level after what he’d accomplished his first three years made it a scary proposition.
Dykema went 31-2 and took third at the WIAA Division 1 individual state tournament, the highest finish of his career. He finished fourth as a junior at D2 state.
“I was happy with the way I played from start to finish,” said Dykema, who is Press-Gazette Media’s boys tennis player of the year. “Obviously, I was hoping to win the tournament, but the two players who made the finals are both extremely talented and it would have been tough competition either way.”
Just before the season started, Dykema figured out what he does best and utilized it to have success. He feels he is most effective when he serves and volleys, which is what he did all year.
He earned the No. 4 seed at state and beat Brookfield East sophomore Robert Krill 6-4, 7-5 in the third-place match in the final showdown of his prep career.
“It hit me this last week that I’m done with high school and all I have left is my college career,” Dykema said. “It’s kind of a weird feeling.”
Dykema will play at Xavier University in Cincinnati and is the second member of his family to sign with a Big East school. His older brother, Nick, competes at Marquette University.
Dykema will report to school on Aug. 20 and will start practicing with the team four days later.
It’s an even bigger chapter of his tennis career, but one he is confident in.
“I’m really excited,” Dykema said. “I’m a little nervous, but mainly excited because I know everybody I’m going to be hitting with on the team is going to push me to the next level. I feel like I can take my game to the next level.”
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