Tennis: Sophomore with local ties owns 2 state titles

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 1, 2020

Staff report

LEAWOOD, Kan. — Sophomore Bryson Langford, 15, recently won her second state doubles championship in Kansas. 

Langford is the daughter of former local tennis stars — Salisbury High graduate Susan Saunders and Lexington native Thad Langford.

Langford and her partner, Greta Stechschulte, attend Shawnee Mission East High School. They won the championship match 6-0, 6-0 against freshman teammates Abigail Long and Katie Schmidt to finish 26-0. They also led Shawnee Mission East to the team title.

It was a repeat 6A championship (the largest classification in Kansas) for Langford/Stechschulte. They also took the state title as freshmen, prevailing 6-3, 6-4 in the final. They had a record of 27-2.

Langford, who is rated as a three-star recruit, is currently ranked 10th in Kansas, 14th in the Plains region and 241st nationally. Stechschulte is ranked seventh in Kansas, ninth in the Plains region and 206th nationally.

Langford started playing tennis when she was 4. She travels to Oklahoma, Iowa and Nebraska for regional tournaments and also plays in some national events. She plans to play college tennis.

Langford’s grandparents are Frank and Anne Saunders of Salisbury.

The tennis gene pool for Langford is exceptional.

Saunders, who played at N.C. State, is a Salisbury-Rowan Sports Hall of Fame inductee. She was a 1A/2A singles state champion in 1985, 1986 and 1987 and led Salisbury to a team title in 1985.

Thad Langford probably would have North Carolina state titles as well, but he grew up in tennis academies. He was part of championship teams in San Diego.

Langford faced players such as Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Andre Agassi and Jim Courier during his career.

Langford played collegiately at Arizona for nationally ranked teams and was part of the Pac 12 All-Academic team in 1991.