Wildcat run on the courts: Central's tennis title in 1950 was third in six years

j letofskyBy Jeff Letofsky
The Pueblo Chieftain
July 23, 2017

More than 67 years ago in the spring of 1950, the Central High School boys tennis team completed a six-year run with its third state championship.More than 67 years ago in the spring of 1950, the Central High School boys tennis team completed a six-year run with its third state championship.

Coached by Lawrence Carlson, the four-player team captured the state crown in Boulder.

For that accomplishment, the team will be honored as a Great Moment in Pueblo Sports by the Greater Pueblo Sports Association during their annual banquet in November.

Central won three state boys tennis titles -- 1945, 1948 and 1950 -- and that ranks seventh all-time. All those titles came in the unclassified division.

Back then, there were only three individual titles contested -- No. 1 and No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles.

In 1950, the Wildcats won two of the three crowns.

And yes, they played with wooden racquets.

Central's Dan Luna won at No. 1 singles along with the No. 1 doubles team of Bill Trevithick and Jerry Starika. Jim Tafoya lost in the No. 2 singles title match.
Luna, who went on to play tennis at the University of Colorado, was a one-sport athlete. Trevithick played tennis and football, while Starika was a three-sport athlete who played football, basketball and tennis.

Bill TrevithickBill Trevithick

Trevithick, now 84, said he and Starika beat a twosome from Denver South in straight sets. He remembered the state championship match.

"Jerry (who was 6-foot-4) would stand at the net and that's big business," said Trevithick, who recently retired as the longest serving board of director (45 years) at SunWest Credit Union. "He would get everything that was hit near the net and he was good at it. I can remember only a couple shots just over his head that I would have to get.

"If they lobbed the ball, hopefully it was short and if it wasn't I was supposed to get it."

Carlson actually coached all three Wildcats teams to state titles. Trevithick remembered how he handled practices.

"Carlson was the Central athletic director," Trevithick said. "What he did was give us four or five cans of balls. He would tell us, 'You guys go play.' He'd leave and then come back.

"Dan and Jerry were probably the coaches. Coach Carlson just made sure we had tennis balls."

Carlson did drive the team to all its matches outside of Pueblo.

"He would drive his car; there weren't any school buses or anything like that," Trevithick said.

As for using wooden racquets, Trevithick said he used a particular brand.

"Wilson Jack Kramer with a small racquet head," he said. "I would have been really good with a metal racquet."

Trevithick hasn't been on a tennis court for years.

"Two knee replacements and a hip replacement have taken care of that," he said. 

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The Greater Pueblo Sports Association (GPSA) has announced a list of honorees that have passed since the 2023 induction ceremony on Nov. 15.



Daniel RosalesDaniel

Class of 2002

Everett C. ThalhamerEverett C.

Class of 2014

Bob GrahamBobby Max

Class of 1990