Brendan Bradfield is glad he decided to learn to play tennis between his eighth grade and freshman year at Pueblo West High School.
In just two years, Bradfield became the team’s captain and No. 1 singles player.
He is both the squad’s leader and top singles competitor again this year, his senior season.
“I’m really happy (I decided to play tennis),” Bradfield said. “My parents got in coach (Nathan) Mutz’s program and my buddy Caydon (Branine) and I both went out and just loved playing the game and having that time together as friends.”
Bradfield spent countless hours each offseason playing tennis, focusing on the sport and improving as much as possible.
The senior credits a strong team as a freshman, as well as the Cyclones coaching staff for his quick development.
“We had a really solid team my freshman year and those guys pushed us,” he said. “Coach has always pushed us and all the guys on the team pushed me to the max and that really helped my game.”
Bradfield’s first serve has become one of his strongest assets on the court.
The tall, lanky singles player said that he could barely dink the ball over the net as a freshman. Now, his hard first serve gives him an edge over his opponents.
“Now I’m really confident in my service — both second and first,” he said.
Like his friend and teammate Caydon Branine, Bradfield is also on the Pueblo West High School bowling team.
His best score is 289, while Branine has bowled a 299.
Bradfield got Branine into tennis and Branine introduced Bradfield to bowling.
The senior said that bowling has helped his game on the courts.
“You gotta bend your knees a lot and make sure your form is perfect,” Bradfield said. “In bowling you have to make sure you aim the ball and I think those things carry right over to tennis and back and forth from that.”
The No. 1 and No. 2 singles players compete with each other often.
While Bradfield wins most times on the courts, he relishes the few times he is able to best his friend on the lanes.
“I have to give him crap since he’s the better bowler,” Bradfield said. “When I beat him, I always give him a hard time. We’re pretty competitive on the bowling team.”
This season, Bradfield has high hopes for himself and the team. He said he hopes to win regionals and compete at state.
Overall, Bradfield is just grateful tennis season has started. The season was in doubt due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The senior said he is thankful CHSAA decided to hold tennis season.
“I’m so thankful,” he said. “I don’t even care if the season is just a month. I’m so thankful they decided to have a season. We’ve worked it out really well with hand sanitizer and masks and everything.
“I couldn’t be happier to have a season this year.”
Beyond tennis, Bradfield is a great student.
He’ll graduate in May of 2021 and has big hopes for college.
“I’m looking at the (Colorado) School of Mines and maybe majoring in engineering or something with math,” he said. “I’m going to have to put a lot of work in at school and get caught up with online stuff.”