Editor’s Note: For 20 days in April, the Deseret News will profile 20 elite high school athletes from the 2020 graduating class and how they’re coping with the premature end of senior life on and off the field.

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Nothing is ever guaranteed in sports, but Brighton’s Redd Owen was a good bet to accomplish something pretty awesome this spring.

Already a three-time first singles state champion, the Brighton senior was the favorite to win a fourth individual title this year placing him in pretty elite company in the state record book joining just five others as a four-time first singles state champ.

The spread of COVID-19 around the country has put his tennis aspirations, along with every other aspect of the senior’s life on hold.

Like so many other seniors around the country, the future BYU tennis player is saddened by the circumstances surrounding the end of his high school life.

“We have to at least act as if we’re going to have a region and a state tournament.” — Brighton’s Redd Owen

“It’s on my mind, but at the same time if I were to lose it there are so many other things I can be grateful for,” said Owen. “Of course I would be really sad if I couldn’t give it a chance.”

High school sports has only been suspended until May 1, and Owen is among the thousands of high school student athletes in Utah who hope sports are reinstated in May.

“We have to at least act as if we’re going to have a region and a state tournament,” said Owen.

Before high school sports shutdown on March 16, Owen got to play one match with his Brighton teammates in a dual with Corner Canyon.

He nearly had to play the match at No. 2 singles as he was almost ousted by his little brother Hardy in a challenge match a few days earlier. The sophomore Owen jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the one-set challenge match on his older brother, but Redd Owen rallied to prevail 6-4 and keep the top spot in Brighton’s line-up.

“My ego and pride was on the line even though I’m happy for him, but I came back and won 6-4. Maybe he eased up on me,” joked Owen.

The opportunity to compete alongside his younger brother is one of the things Owen is missing most about the absence of spring sports. The younger Owen competed at first doubles last year, but did so while playing with a broken back was very limited in practice each week.

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Before and after the arrival of COVID-19 in Utah, the Owen brothers have been each other’s best practice partners. Since the closure of Brighton High School three weeks ago, they’ve continued to compete and stay in shape incase high school sports are reinstated.

“Fortunately I’ve got a younger brother who’s better than me at tennis so we’ve gone out every single day and we’ve been playing a ton with my dad who is also my coach,” said Owen.

Owen is ranked 30th nationally in his age group according to tennisrecruiting.com, and in early March he went 2-2 at the National Spring Team Championships in Mobile, Ala., beating a pair of five-star athletes.

Unless something drastic changes, that will be his final high school tennis match.

While he’s sad about that prospects of no more high school tennis, he’s extremely grateful to the teachers at Brighton High School who’ve helped him and so many of his peers transition to online learning the past few weeks.

“My teachers are what sticks out most for me. They go to the school and have all of my assignments up, and it’s been hard to adjust to online school but they’re been amazing putting everything up on time, especially with reaching out to the seniors,” said Owen.

Whether he gets to enjoy a formal Brighton High School graduation or not is up in the air like everything else. That includes his two-year Latter-day Saint mission to Africa. He’s supposed to report to the Ghana MTC in late July, but missionaries in Africa were sent home late last month and there’s no timetable for their return.

So much uncertainty can be stressful, but Owen is keeping everything in perspective and staying positive.