SALT LAKE CITY — Blessed with 10 months of comfortable tennis weather and an abundance of accessible courts, the St. George-area schools came to Liberty Park Friday with a plan to take home the 4A state tennis tournament trophy.
Max Miner and the Crimson Cliffs Mustangs are the leading candidates to leave with a title when the tourney concludes Saturday. However, they will likely have a tough day.
Miner, the Mustangs’ top player at No. 1 singles, is just a freshman, and his 2-year-old school has yet to add a piece of tennis hardware from the Utah High Schools Activities Association. Staring at each of them is Logan, a school that has been around since 1917.
The Grizzlies also have their share of talent. They claimed the Region 5 crown last week and won all of their matches on opening day Friday to earn 10 points. Crimson Cliffs had 8, Dixie and Green Canyon 7, Desert Hills and Ridgeline 6, followed by Ogden and Pine View with 4.
“We are in a good position,” said Crimson Cliffs coach Gavin Brown. “But you always have to show up (and play). We’ve played the southern Utah schools and know what they’re about. I’m worried more about the Cache Valley teams.”
“I’m not worried. It’s just another tournament,” said Miner. “I just have to go play my game, stay in the match and don’t get down on myself.”
Brown admitted that even though southern Utah traditionally has warmer weather, Miner and the rest of his team still had to adjust to Salt Lake’s 80-degree temperatures and 4,350-foot elevation, which forced some shots to sail.
Miner, however, rolled to a pair of wins, losing just one set all day. Zachary Sodorff and Liam Dutton also felt comfortable in their matches.
“They’ve done a good job,” Brown said. “It wasn’t easy for them to accept having a freshman come in and be the player, but Max is super good and he earned it. Our other two singles players, though, could play No. 1 at a lot of schools.”
They’ll have to prove that Saturday. Logan’s Kimbal Ricks was his team’s biggest surprise, but the Grizzlies’ Ashton Xu and Paul Miller also earned a pair of wins, and the doubles teams of Kohoon Kwag-Junsung Lee and Caleb Xu-Phillip Xu also advanced to the semifinals.
Logan’s ability to advance all of its teams was the difference in the team scores as Crimson Cliffs’ No. 2 doubles team didn’t make it out of region. In most cases, those two schools won’t play each other until the championship match, which could leave the team title in question until the end.
4A boys state tennis tournament
At Liberty Park, Salt Lake
Team scores: 1. Logan 10; 2. Crimson Cliffs 8; 3. Dixie, Green Canyon 7; 5. Desert Hills, Ridgeline 6; 7. Ogden, Pine View 4; 9. Cedar Valley, Mountain Crest 3; 12. Cedar City, Uintah 1.
No. 1 singles
First round — Max Miner (Crimson Cliffs) def. Calvin Beck (Cedar City) 6-0, 6-0. Josh Speirs (Uintah) def Ben Spackman (Sky View) 6-1, 6-1. Gavin Rideout (Cedar Valley) def. Caleb Kroll (Dixie) 6-2, 6-4. Thatcher Ellis (Ridgeline) def. Isaac Wardle (Tooele) 6-1, 6-3. Jackson Toliver (Ogden) def. Bryce Christianson (Snow Canyon) 6-1, 6-1. Kimbal Ricks (Logan) def. Rockwell Grose (Pine View) 6-4, 6-1. Jaden Wittwer (Desert Hills) def. Mike Hardy (Mountain Crest) 6-0, 6-1. Carter Thorpe (Green Canyon) def. Joseph Luke (Stansbury) 6-0, 6-2.
Second round - Miner def. Speirs 6-1, 6-0. Ellis def. Rideout 6-0, 6-3. Ricks def. Toliver 6-3, 6-4. Wittwer def. Thorpe 6-2, 3-6, 6-0.
No. 2 singles
First round — Calvin Felt (Green Canyon) def. Nathan Heinz (Snow Canyon) 6-1, 6-0. Jackson Holman (Desert Hills) def. Aymeric Blaizot (Juan Diego) 6-0, 6-1. Gavin Bishop (Dixie) def. Braxton Stoker (Mountain Crest) 6-4, 6-0. Teagan Broadbent (Ogden) def. Tyler Funk (Sky View) 6-2, 7-5. Zachary Sodorff (Crimson Cliffs) def. Cooper Jones (Stansbury) 6-0, 6-0. Ayden Rupp (Ridgeline) def. Adam White (Uintah) 6-1, 6-0. Ashton Xu (Logan) def. Dallin Racker (Pine View) 6-1, 6-0. Max Lawrence (Cedar Valley) def. Pearce Morris (Hurricane) 6-4, 7-5.
Second round - Felt def. Holman 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. Bishop def. Broadbent 2-6, 6-1, 6-4. Sodorff def. Rupp 6-2, 6-4. Xu def. Lawrence 6-3, 6-0.
No. 3 singles
First round — Liam Duffin (Crimson Cliffs) def. Carter Davis (Mountain Crest) 6-0, 6-0. JC Fonnesbeck (Green Canyon) def. Kaiden Debry (Stansbury) 6-2, 6-1. Davis Low (Ridgeline) def. Britton Bringhurst (Hurricane) 6-1, 6-2. John Winn (Ogden) def. Kirk Jackson (Snow Canyon) 6-3, 6-3. Paul Miller (Logan) def. Thomas Varghese (Juan Diego) 6-0, 6-0. Logan White (Desert Hills) def Eric Weston (Uintah) 6-1, 6-4. Jesse Porter (Cedar Valley) def. Hunter Edwards (Pine View) 6-2, 6-2. Chase Poulton (Dixie) def. Zander Poulson (Sky View) 6-2, 6-2.
Second round — Duffin def. Fonnesbeck 6-1, 6-0. Low def. Winn 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Miller def. White 6-0, 6-1. Poulton def. Porter 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-0.
No. 1 doubles
First round — Coby Christensen-Kaden Koch (Pine View) def. Ethan Richardson-Nathan Parker (Hurricane) 6-0, 6-0. Xavlon Mortenson-Tyler Meier (Uintah) def. Zach Fricke-Camden Oswald (Mountain Crest) 6-2, 7-5. Jace Wilkins-Nathan Wade (Desert Hills) def. Jacob Peterson-Jackson Felbbauer (Ogden) 6-0, 6-0. Kohoon Kwag-Junsung Lee (Logan) def. Brayden Hunt-Parker Hawkes (Cedar Valley) 6-2, 6-0. Caden Selby-Caleb Selby (Cedar City) def. Demmeck Russell-Braydon Griffith (Stansbury) 6-3, 6-2. Jacob Brown-Jack Hodges (Crimson Cliffs) def. Ben Olsen-Tag McCullough (Ridgeline) 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Brady Madrid-Josh Barney (Dixie) def. McCade Cefalo-Wyatt Zollinger (Bear River) 6-0, 6-1. Andrew Westwood-Jared Anderson (Green Canyon) def. Paceson McLaws-Trevor Zaleski (Tooele) 6-0, 6-2.
Second round — Christensen-Koch def. Fricke-Oswald 6-1, 6-1. Kwag-Lee def. Wilkins-Wade 6-4, 7-5. Brown-Hodges def. Selby-Selby 6-1, 6-1. Madrid-Barney def. Westwood-Anderson 6-0, 6-2.
No. 2 doubles
First round — Isaac Petersen-Nick Clark (Ridgeline) def. Kevin Bunn-Preston Monson (Hurricane) 6-3, 6-2. Benson Parry-Tayen Clark (Pine View def. Carson Coltharp-Treyton Mortenson (Uintah) 6-4, 6-2. Mark Davis-Isaac Parker (Mountain Crest) def. Braden Koch-Andrew Ord (Snow Canyon) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. Spencer Holliday-Sam Sheffield (Ogden) def. Porter Wooley-Jack Pedersen (Bear River) 6-1, 6-1. Korbin Suwyn-Brandon Snow (Dixie) def. Jag Gilmartin-Dave Kenneberg (Juan Diego) 6-1, 6-2. Jeff Huband-Luke Olsen (Green Canyon) def. Tyler Stoker-McKay Anderson (Stansbury) 6-0, 6-0. Caleb Xu-Phillip Xu (Logan) def. Bridger Coates-William Geddes (Cedar City) 6-1, 6-3. Jeff Purcell-Cole Simon (Desert Hills) def. Jensen Nielson-McCade Laughlin (Tooele) 6-1, 6-4.
Second round — Parry-Clark def. Petersen-Clark 7-5, 6-4. Davis-Parker def. Holliday-Sheffield 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-4. Huband-Olsen def. Suwyn-Snow 6-3, 6-4. Xu-Xu def. Purcell-Simon 6-4, 6-1.