Passion for the game – ‘loves the team and loves the tennis’ – key for Tigers’ Hulme


EDWARDSVILLE — Although Colton Hulme has only been in Edwardsville High School for two years, coach David Lipe said he feels like he’s been with the Tigers forever.

“I remember when he was a little kid with long hair and now he’s a big kid with long hair,” Lipe said.

As the No. 1 player in singles for most of his sophomore 2022 season, Hulme qualified for the Class 2A state tournament for the second year in a row. With a 29-16 singles record, he shared Southwestern Conference Player of the Year honors with Belleville East’s RJ Miksell and earned all-conference first-team honors.

Hulme adds recognition as the 2022 Telegraph Boys Tennis Player of the Year.

“I’ve never had a kid who loves the team and loves tennis as much as (Hulme) does,” Lipe said. “He’s a fantastic leader because of that.”

Hulme also teamed with freshman teammate Jesse Hattrup to finish 5-4 in doubles. Although Edwardsville finished the season 13-8, the Tigers won their third straight division title and all 24 in the programe globally. It was the Tigers 20e section title since 2001.

Along the way, Edwardsville also won its 21st direct SWC title.

“He was the No. 1 player on the best team in the region,” Lipe said. “He is a very good tennis player and a great athlete.”

Hulme’s signature trait in tennis is his passion. He wears his heart on his sleeve, which was most evident in a May 11 match against O’Fallon’s Gavin Sohn inside the EHS Tennis Center.

Sohn had beaten Hulme the previous year in the Belleville West Section semi-finals, but Hulme was out for revenge. Trailing 4-3 in both sets, Hulme fell back to win 6-4, 6-4. The victory secured a perfect 5-0 regular season for Edwardsville against opponents SWC.

After the win, he let out a victorious roar towards his Tiger teammates.

“The motivation for me is just the love of tennis,” Hulme said after beating Sohn. “I’m grateful to be able to play in this team.”

One trait of Hulme that Lipe says is very indicative of the future junior is how much his opponents respect him.

“It says a lot about a person,” Lipe said. “He is respected not only by the other players, but also by the opposing coaches. It’s something he should be proud of.

Lipe added that Hulme earned that respect because of his fair line calls and his respectful and genuine attitude towards his opponents and other coaches.

“He’s got such a good sense of humor and he’s such a nice guy,” Lipe said. “That’s one thing people don’t know about him. He has a very big heart and he loves his teammates.

With a third-place finish at the Edwardsville Section, Hulme qualified for the state for the second year in a row. At state, it went 0-2.

Hulme is currently 69-28 in Edwardsville. If he maintains a 30-win pace over the next two seasons, Hulme will finish his career in the Tigers’ top 15 in all-time wins for the men’s program. Zach Trimpe, a 2019 graduate, is the record holder with 185 wins.

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