Traverse City St. Francis moves onto boys tennis state finals for 7th consecutive year

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City St. Francis is thrilled to announce their qualification for the state finals, according to head coach Dane Fosgard. Fosgard expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance, stating, “It feels good. I knew it was going to be close, but all our guys pulled their weight and got the job done.”

Traverse City St. Francis, ranked No. 2 in Division 4, secured their seventh consecutive trip to the state finals by winning another regional title at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School. They collected 18 points, while Ludington, ranked No. 4, finished second with 15 points. For the second year in a row, No. 6-ranked Glen Lake, with 14 points, will also advance to the state playoffs.

“We’re stoked to be moving onto the state championship for the second year in a row,” said Alex Reinbold, head coach of the Lakers.

Senior Tyler Bixby, reflecting on the team’s journey, expressed his delight with their progress. He said, “It’s nice to see how the team has built up, especially because my freshman year, we lost to almost everyone. And every year since, we’ve gotten better. It’s good to see tennis has caught on in being a strong sport again.”

In the one-singles championship round, Glen Lake’s Colebrook Sutherland put up a tough fight against St. Francis junior Owen Jackson, taking a two-set lead. However, Jackson rallied and won the match with a score of 6-3, 7-5.

Jackson spoke about his mindset during the match, saying, “Honestly, I’ve played a lot of tennis throughout my days, and I’ve had my ups and downs. I even told myself when I was down in the second set. I said, ‘I’ve been there before and there’s no pressure.’ (I’m) just going to have fun and enjoy it.” He also praised his opponent, stating, “(Sutherland) was amazing and played an amazing match. I’ve known Colebrook my whole life. We trained a lot this summer, so I know how competitive he can be.”

Reinbold expressed his pride in the Lakers and highlighted the victories against St. Francis. He said, “Having a couple of head-to-head victories over St. Francis and for doubles highlighting the most exciting one to win the regionals.”

Jackson, who has been part of all the state runs since his freshman year, emphasized the team’s resilience and motivation. He said, “The highest form of flattery is being jealous of someone and putting them on their back. So knowing people are coming for us makes us lock in even more. We don’t take anything lightly. We know that everyone is there to compete.”

Fosgard, an experienced coach, emphasized the importance of pushing the players to strive for more. He said, “You want to build their confidence but also push them to do better; and today, I had to work both of those. I knew this was going to be close coming in, so I tried to push them all week and remain positive.”

St. Francis secured their spot at the state finals with strong performances from Luke Bobrowski, Chris Bobrowski, Max King, Will Sutton, Casey Jackson, and Brady Thelen. Ludington’s Reece Ward and Andrew Schopieray and William Krusel of Glen Lake were among the other winners in their respective divisions.

Eli Schmude, a junior player for St. Francis, expressed his excitement about the state playoffs, despite not having his brother, Ben Schmude, with him this time. He said, “It’s definitely different. It’s taken on my journey with this team. I learned some stuff by myself, and it was great having (Ben) here. Now, I get to see things for myself.”

The Lakers and Gladiators will compete at Holland Christian High School on Oct 20.


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