Carmel tennis families rich in tradition got richer during the state singles and doubles tournament.
First, Carmel High School senior Patrick Fletchall repeated as state high school singles champion with a 20-0 record Oct. 21 at Park Tudor. Fletchall helped the Greyhounds win a second consecutive team state title Oct. 14.
His older sister, Molly, won the state doubles title at CHS in 2014 and was part of three state championship teams. Their dad, Tim Fletchall, played on three state championship teams for North Central in the 1980s.
Then the Park Tudor senior duo of Will Emhardt, a Carmel resident, and Drew Wiegel captured the state doubles title, blanking the Floyd Central team of Noah Neuhauser and Alex Poe 6-0, 6-0 in the final.
Emhardt’s brother, Charlie, won the state doubles title for CHS in 2012 and was on three winning state teams for the Greyhounds. Older sister Elizabeth was on four winning state champion teams at Park Tudor, and then sister Caroline was on the final two of those state winning teams with Elizabeth. Elizabeth also was a state doubles runner-up in 2008.
After beating Evansville Mater Dei’s Aaron Thompson 6-4, 6-2 in the semis, Fletchall topped Bloomington North’s Mac Rogers 6-3, 6-1 in the finals.
“He’s a cool kid but he was very nervous, probably as nervous as I’ve seen him for a high school match,” Carmel coach Spencer Fields said. “Senior year, it was a big moment for him. Oddly, winning his junior year might have been a lot easier because of all the pressure. The scores were good but the matches were tough, mentally.”
Fletchall said he woke up nervous because he knew he was the favorite after winning as a junior.
“When I got through the semis my nerves calmed down a little bit and I just settled down and got to work,” Fletchall said. “Junior year (winning state singles) wasn’t ultimately the goal, because I didn’t know I had it in me. But after winning it my junior year, I felt the need to repeat, so that was a lot more pressure.”
Fletchall, who was 24-0 as a junior, has committed to play tennis at Indiana University in 2018-19. He is graduating from CHS in December and will play junior tournaments during the winter and spring.
Emhardt and Wiegel were 7-5 in the regular season before catching fire and closing with a 16-5 mark.
“During the regular season we had our ups and downs, but we always wanted to keep our eyes on the goal, because we both believed we had the talent to do it,” Emhardt said. “It was a matter of all the intangibles that go into a tennis match. I think the chemistry elevated (in the postseason). We started clicking in the Carmel match (in team quarterfinals).”