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Lakers move to Class 3A this season

Laker junior Alex Fondrick will start out the season as DL’s No. 1 singles player. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

Coming off a historical feat from 2013, the Detroit Lakes boys’ tennis team looks to build off that momentum for the upcoming spring season.

For the first time in quite a long time, the Lakers were well represented in the Class 1A state tennis meet, as the Fondrick brothers, Isaac and Alex earned their way through section play.

But the 2014 path became just a bit more difficult after DL was bumped to Class 2A.

“We’ll be the smallest school in Section 8-2A,” said DL head coach Patrick Starbeck.

Section 8-2A includes Alexandria, Becker, Bemidji, Big Lake, Brainerd, Buffalo, Monticello, Moorhead, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, St. Michael, St. Cloud Tech and St. Cloud Apollo.

Despite the change, the Lakers still bring back a good load of experience, even though they lost Isaac Fondrick to graduation last year.

“The majority of our upperclassmen put in a good amount of time playing matches over the summer and it’s showing in practice thus far,” Starbeck said.

Junior Alex Fondrick will start out as DL’s top singles player, followed by junior Caleb Howard, sophomore Chandler Hanks and senior Austin Nelson.

Howard will have a handle on No. 2 singles duties, while Hanks and Nelson will bounce from three to four throughout the season.

“Our singles two through four are basically on the same level and that’s good, because we should be pretty tough at the fourth singles spot then,” Starbeck said. “Alex may start a little slow at No. 1, but he should have a pretty good season ahead of him.”

At doubles, seniors Colton Friesen and Luke Eggebraaten will hold the top duties, with veterans seniors Dylan Bremseth and Brady Crawford at No. 2.

Newcomers senior Michael Herrmann and sophomore Jon Richards will have an inside track on the third doubles slot, with each already displaying a seasoned game, despite it being their first year in the sport.

“We have other younger players who will also fill in,” Starbeck said. “There are over 30 kids out, so that’s probably as much as we’ve had in the last 10 years.”

The Lakers will look to win the Mid-State Conference crown, with only three teams vying for it, including Long Prairie-Grey Eagle and Park Rapids.

Perham and Wadena-Deer Creek each folded their programs.

The Lakers open Thursday in the Thief River Falls triangular, with Crookston joining in.

The 2014 Detroit Lakes boys’ tennis schedule:


10 at Thief River Falls

12 at Park Rapids

22 Bemidji

24 Park Rapids

26 at St. Cloud Tournament


1 at Park Rapids

6 at Bemidji

8 Mid-State at Park Rapids

10 Fergus Falls/TRF

12 at Long Prairie

15 Alexandria/TRF

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.