Rosenbaum ranks 2nd in tennis wins with 101
Published 1:05 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2023
By Brian Pitts
From 1996-2021, no Davie boys tennis doubles team qualified for the state tournament. The great Burke Rosenbaum busted through that door twice.
In 2022, Rosenbaum and his cousin C Crenshaw went 18-2 and became the first Davie duo to advance to the state in at least 27 years.
In 2023, Rosenbaum and Bryce Bailey turned the trick.
The Midwest Regional was held at Cox Mill on May 5-6. The Davie seniors had to win their first two matches to crack the top four and punch their state tickets. They did just that by ripping through Marvin Ridge (6-3, 6-1) and West Forsyth (6-2, 6-4) in the first two rounds.
“The Marvin Ridge match was a clinic on how to play doubles,” coach Shane Nixon said. “When Bryce was serving, Burke was at the net being super aggressive. When the guys were receiving, Bryce was using his unreal reflexes to cover the net and allowing Burke to roam free and get to balls behind him.
“The kids from West Forsyth, both underclassmen, are going to be really good. They’ll be state qualifiers more than once, but they were no match for my guys on this day.”
One day later in the semifinals, the Davie duo met Mt. Tabor’s Adam Cartwright and Landon Wyshner for the fourth time. In the previous meeting, Rosenbaum/Bailey prevailed to capture the conference doubles title. They couldn’t, however, recapture that magic, falling 7-5, 2-6, 2-6 to the eventual regional champions.
Rosenbaum/Bailey are really, really good. Cartwright/Wyshner are a notch above that. It’s that simple. The Tabor guys took three of four from Davie this year.
“Saturday morning meant the showdown everyone expected,” Nixon said. “It is incredible the pace and accuracy (the Tabor boys) can get on their serves. The first set was back and forth. The second set the Tabor kids turned the volume up on their serves. There were some balls that simply should not be returned and yet Bryce would two-hand a backhand right over the net, or Burke would flick his wrist and somehow get it back. Like rounds one, two and three this year, this was a war. When they are on like that, they are really hard to beat. As evidenced by the fact that they took down the undefeated No. 1 seed from Northwest Guilford to win the region. It makes Burke and Bryce’s win in the CPC Tournament look all the more amazing.”
In the consolation match for third/fourth place, Rosenbaum/Bailey won the first set but ran completely out of gas down the stretch and lost 6-4, 4-6, 2-6 to a team from Cuthbertson.
“Playing in a grudge match like (the one in the semifinals) caught up to us,” Nixon said. “The Cuthbertson team was on the court for about 45 minutes, getting drilled by Northwest Guilford. My guys were out there for more than two hours playing Tabor. My guys just didn’t have anything left in the tank. Burke was cramping in about four different places. Bryce looked so tired you could feel it. Shoutout to the Cuthbertson team. Their sportsmanship was amazing. Burke fell down with cramps so bad he couldn’t stand, and one of the Cuthbertson kids dropped his racket and ran over to check on Burke. Burke and Bryce played their guts out. These guys poured themselves out for two days and represented Davie County in such an amazing way.”
In the state tournament, Rosenbaum/Bailey more than held their own in the first round, but they ultimately succumbed to ferocious opponents from Cardinal Gibbons (6-4, 4-6, 2-6).
The state was held at Millbrook Exchange Tennis Center in Raleigh on May 12-13.
“That is a really good Cardinal Gibbons team,” Nixon said. “Our guys jumped on them early, but then the Gibbons kids started to really serve it well midway through the second set. I was so proud of the way my guys didn’t quit, even when the momentum turned.”
Nixon said both guys were an absolute delight to coach. They finished with a 20-5 record.
Rosenbaum’s final numbers are staggering. Across four seasons, he went 46-5 in singles and 55-8 in doubles. With a combined record of 101-13, he ranks second all-time in total wins, only trailing Elijah Gregory (110-35).
“Burke is quite simply one of the best in Davie County history,” Nixon said. “He’s a two-time CPC Player of the Year and three-time all-CPC. He’s a CPC singles champ and two-time CPC doubles champ. He only lost three times in conference. He’s a three-time regional qualifier and two-time state qualifier. It is easy to forget that with all the great numbers, they’d be significantly better if not for the COVID year. He’s a great kid, a wonderful competitor and a fantastic teammate. Being truly great at something makes being a teammate harder sometimes, but Burke made guys better. He was a joy to coach and I feel privileged to have gotten to do so. Burke will be going to Appalachian State, and he plans to play club tennis.”
Bailey entered Davie as a tennis nobody, made enormous strides and became good enough to earn a scholarship to Belmont Abbey. As a junior, he went 14-2 in singles and 7-4 in doubles. As a senior, he went 12-3 in singles and 20-5 in doubles. His total record as a junior/senior: 53-14.
“When they tell the story of Bryce’s high school career, it would be good if there were a screen writer standing by – it is that good,” Nixon said. “The tennis speaks for itself (two-time all-CPC, CPC doubles champion, regional and state qualifier). He stepped right into the large shoes of C Crenshaw and partnered with Burke to win that CPC doubles crown. But like Burke, it is the off-court stuff that matters most. From a guy who wasn’t good enough to play in the top six to a guy who anchored a team. Bryce learned to play with confidence, learned to use the stuff people said about him as fuel to a fire that burns so hot, it powered him to a college scholarship. He was a coach’s dream.”