DENVER – Three days later than it’s used to, Cherry Creek is once again the king of the Class 5A boys tennis mountain.

In the first-ever team dual final, the Bruins rolled to a 5-2 win over Valor Christian to win the team state championship that they have become accustomed to winning on a Saturday after seeing several individual champions getting crowned.

It was a new way of getting to the top, but the feeling is every bit the same.

“It’s our coaches,” No. 2 singles player Kiril Kostadinov said. “The staff and everyone helps us get through a season together.”

A departure from the previous format, this year the top two teams (after playing their way through a 16-team bracket) convened at Denver City Park to earn their way to a championship against each other.

The Bruins took on Valor Christian in a traditional dual rather than building team points through the individual brackets. The Eagles put up a solid fight as Graham Beukelman and Drew Schell beat Jack Eikelberner and Charlie Stern in No. 1 doubles while Christian Trevey beat Aram Izmirian in No. 1 singles.

(Dan Mohrmann/

But the depth of Creek’s roster was too much and it was the Bruins getting the 5-2 win to claim the 45th boys tennis title in school history. This is also the third team title in a row for the Bruins after they went a three-year stretch from 2017-19 without one, the longest drought in school history.

Still, when the No. 3 doubles team of Trey Zurcher and Ryder Landry converted their match point, it was a great feeling for the overall roster.

“It was hard to concentrate,” Zurcher said. “I was able to concentrate once that 2 doubles match finished (to put us up 3-2) and we got the job done.”

This new team format is in its first year and has had a significant effect on the feel of the state tournament as a whole. The individual tournament felt more subdued as each player was able to focus on their matches and not be concerned with anything else happening at the time.

In the team bracket, a player like Kostadinov was determined to get a win early so he could set the tone and be there for his teammates.

“I felt like I helped my team have confidence in themselves,” he said. “They were able to go on and win their matches.”

The bulk of them at least. Which is all that was needed for Creek to capture title No. 45.