Jefferson Neary and Austin Robertson felt pretty good about winning the state tennis title at No. 2 doubles in 2018. The pair felt even better winning state for a second time the following year at No. 1 doubles.
Now in their senior seasons at Campbell County High School, Neary and Robertson are poised for a three-peat as the No. 1 seed in the state tournament at No. 1 doubles.
Neary and Robertson have gone 16-0 this season, including winning the regional championship Saturday in Cody. In that span, the pair has lost a total of three sets.
“It’s really been about momentum,” Neary said of their unbeaten season. “We’ve carried it over from last season from winning state and then into this season with the momentum of a little win streak. We just got better this offseason.”
The competition has been more difficult this year compared to last year at No. 1 doubles, Neary said. The pair has been tested throughout the season leading into the state tournament.
“We’ve had some challenges and there’s some really good teams,” Neary said. “We’ve been fortunate enough to pull out all those wins.”
After a clean sweep of the regional tournament in which the pair didn’t lose a set, Neary said all that stands between them and a third state championship is four more wins.
“Winning regionals is awesome and going undefeated in the regular season is awesome, but none of it matters come Thursday,” Neary said. “Our goal is a state championship, and anything less than that will be a bust no matter what our regular season or regional tournament accolades were.
“We’re chasing that title and once Thursday hits, the regional title doesn’t matter and the undefeated season doesn’t matter. Everyone is 0-0.”
The dynamic duo’s mindset both on and off the court is to stay hungry and to keep focused on the title the pair will be fighting for on their home court in Gillette.Fifteen other No. 1 doubles teams stand between Neary’s and Robertson’s three-peat. The Camels have to win three to make it to the championship and one more to bring it home, with a loss anywhere in the bracket making it impossible to advance to the championship match.
Neary also is proud of how the boys team performed at regionals as a group, where the Camels placed second of eight teams.
“It’s definitely trying to lead by example,” Neary said. “Everybody played really good this weekend. We had three teams in the championships and the other two were competing for third and fourth. We’re really proud of how everyone did this weekend.”
The state tournament begins Thursday and continues through Saturday. Matches will be played at Campbell County High School, Thunder Basin High School, the Campbell County Recreation Center Field House and Bicentennial Park.