Cassie Carlyle spent all winter driving up from Polson to Kalispell, once a week practicing at The Summit.
When her final spring season arrived, she was excited to hit the tennis courts and put that preparation into performance. And then it rained. And rained. And rained. But the wet, cold conditions weren’t strong enough to dampen her spirits.
Last weekend, the sun shined on Carlyle as she capped her senior season in storybook fashion, placing second in the singles bracket of the Class A state tournament in Kalispell, just up the road from where she practiced all winter with this moment in mind. Her family and friends who all traveled from Polson made quite the cheering section.
“It feels good. I think my whole family is really proud of me,” she said afterward. “I’m happy with the way it ended. I’ve had a really great four years and it will be fun to look back on. And I’m glad I ended on a high note.”
Carlyle’s journey ended like others’ at the state tennis tournament, under sunburst skies that felt well deserved after a cloudy spring defined by wet weather.
Whitefish’s Paint Intasuk finished third in the girls singles division.
Paige Sproul and Cailyn Ross finished sixth in the doubles bracket. The Whitefish girls team placed fifth with 15 points. Polson’s Colin Kenney placed fifth in the boys singles bracket.
Whitefish head coach Patrick Dryden enjoyed the sunny skies and watching his players shine in the final weekend. Seeing how far they had come, he had nothing but good things to say.
“They’ve just improved so much over the year,” he said of his doubles duo. “This is awesome. This is a great venue for a state tournament. Everybody is having a good time.”