As a three-year varsity letterwinner for the Boonville Pirates tennis team, senior Josh Chrisman knew this was going to be his best season yet in doubles with teammate Quin Gentry.
After finishing 11-3 last spring and winning a district title, Chrisman said he and Quin talked all the time in practice about advancing to state.
Unfortunately that dream came crashing down for the duo when MSHSAA released a statement last week that spring sports had been canceled.
Chrisman said it was disappointing because there were so many opportunities that they won’t get to experience.
“It seemed like at all of the practices, Quin and I always talked about how this year was our year,” Chrisman said. “We got to live the experience with Francesco Bona and Luke Rehagen when they went to state, so it’s something we wanted to achieve.”
As it stands now, Chrisman will have to savor the moment after knocking off Kirksville in a tiebreak in the final set to win a district title in 2019.
Although tennis was Chrisman’s favorite sport, the three-point athlete also excelled in soccer as a holding mid for the Pirates and then started at point guard for Boonville in basketball his sophomore and junior year.
Chrisman said winning doubles at districts was definitely the highlight of his career.
“We were the underdog for sure,” Chrisman said. “No matter what during that championship we would have gone on to sectionals. We just had a better seeding if we won, so beating Kirksville really boosted our confidence going into sectionals.”
Getting to play No. 1 singles and doubles wasn’t easy, though. Chrisman recalls starting his freshman season at the No. 7 spot in singles and No. 4 in doubles. Then, after gradually moving up to the No. 5 position in singles and No. 3 in doubles as a sophomore, Chrisman finally cracked the No. 1 slot in both singles and doubles as a junior.
Chrisman credits playing during the offseason for his climb to the No. 1 position in singles and doubles.
But his love for tennis was more than just the game. Sure that was a big part while playing doubles with his partner, Quin. However, Chrisman said he liked the sport-more so than soccer and basketball-because of the individuality of it. He said it’s a team sport but the match can be decided by him.
As far as playing doubles with Gentry, Chrisman said the duo just had a really good chemistry together.
“We were able to keep each other from being down,” Chrisman said. “We’re able to enjoy the game while still being serious and play. We also knew each others strengths and weaknesses. Quin’s weakness was moving his feet and mine was the second serve. As far as together, our weakness was getting up to the net together. We would always win a point when we got to the net.”
Chrisman also recalls how he got started in tennis. He said at the beginning of his freshman year, the twins got him interested in playing but at the time he really wasn’t into it until he started watching them on the court.
“I liked watching them move around on the court and communicating with each other,” Chrisman said. “It was just really inspiring and I wanted to be like that. My father and my brother also inspired me to play tennis. My dad always liked to play when I was younger and then Kyle and I played. I think we got better at the same rate together. There was never really a time where he was a lot better than me.”
As for a funny moment in tennis, Chrisman said he and Quinn would always count extra points if they would hit people on the other team. He said throughout the season they would keep track of how many points they had.
As for soccer, Chrisman also excelled in that as well while earning all-district honors as a junior and senior.
While the highlight no doubt included winning a district title in tennis for Chrisman, he said in soccer the highlight of his four-year career was probably advancing to the quarterfinals in soccer his freshmen year and beating Marshall this past season in the district tournament.
Chrisman also remembers the teams best game, although he doesn’t remember who it was against this past season. He said he just remembers Jimmy Barbarotta scoring the game-winning goal.
As for basketball, Chrisman didn’t play this past season for the Pirates only because he wanted to focus on his senior season in tennis, which wound up not happening.
Chrisman said he liked the competitiveness and playing the point guard position in basketball because you felt in control.
As far as his career as a whole, Chrisman said he definitely thought he peaked his freshmen year. “It was definitely difficult to live up to those the way that we played then like in every sport with those seniors,” Chrisman said. “My only regret was not playing this year and trying to win a state title. The whole season is just unknown now. We know this would have definitely been our best year. We know that much. But we’ll never know how far we would have gotten.
While Chrisman will attend the University of Missouri this fall to study athletic training, he said he will never forget his time on the court while playing tennis for the Boonville Pirates tennis team.
“I think I liked tennis so much, also, because it got me outside,” Chrisman said. “I consider that to be one of my hobbies along with riding my bike on the Katy Trail.”
As far as the thought of not having a commencement, Chrisman said it really hasn’t bothered him that much. He said he’s ready to take the next step in his life.