By Max Goodwin
The King family has built a legacy of tennis royalty at The Barstow School over the last eight years. It all started when Janie King won her first state doubles title in 2015 with partner Amelia Smith, and the two would repeat the next year. Three years later her brother Brian King won a doubles state championship with Bradley Frye.
This year, for the first time, two King siblings have partnered to win a doubles state championship. Richey King won a singles state championship last year as a junior when Barstow also won a team state championship (moving up to Class 2 from Class 1). This year Richey teamed up with his younger brother, Bobby, a freshman, to go after the doubles state title in the higher class.
In May they accomplished their goal. It’s the sixth state championship for the King family.
“This one was really special because we’ve talked about this for so long,” said Richey. “We watched our siblings play, so we were really excited to win this one.”
Winning a state championship in doubles with his brother gives Richey a state title in each category as he ends his high school tennis career.
“I definitely wanted to focus on doubles this year just because I was getting the chance to play with him,” Richey said.
All this time Bobby has been practicing and watching his older siblings play high school tennis, and now he finally has the chance to play for Barstow himself. He’s the last in line of King siblings.
“It feels like a lot of fun,” Bobby said. “I’m always watching them and I’ve always wanted to do this and it’s even more fun to do it with my brother.”
Barstow only lost three team matches all season (two against Priory and an early match against Pembroke Hill), defeating Branson for third place in the Class 2 state championship.
In other tennis news, Barstow student Sankreeth Gandhari medaled, taking eighth place in Class 2 singles. Another south Kansas City school that had success on the courts this spring was Rockhurst High, which finished third place in Missouri Class 3. The doubles team of Grant Wiedeman and Nick Koca made the championship round and finished second in the state.
Meanwhile, as Bobby prepares for the rest of his time playing for Barstow, Richey is excited to play at Wichita State next season.
“I’m sad that it’s coming to an end,” he says of his high school tournament days. “There’s just a ton of great memories playing with coach O’Brien and coach Downs. This was a great way to end it, playing with my younger brother.”