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Fondrick brothers earn Class 1A state doubles berth

The Fondrick Brothers of Alex (left) and Isaac congratulate each other after their second-round victory in the Section 8-1A doubles tournament. BOB WILLIAMS/FORUM NEWS SERVICE

It’s been a very long time since one could say that Detroit Lakes would be represented in the state boys’ tennis meet.

But that’s exactly what can be stated after Tuesday’s Section 8-1A doubles meet, as the Fondrick brothers — Alex and Isaac — of DL secured the program’s first state berth in years after winning the True Second match in Perham.

“It’s amazing making state,” said Isaac Fondrick, the elder of the two. “We’ve been working so hard to reach this goal and it’s very cool to do it with my brother.”

The Fondrick brothers were the top seeded pair heading into the section  with an undefeated record and cruised through the first two rounds, after gaining a first-round bye.

The DL duo dominated Park Rapids 6-1, 6-0 and downed their Thief River Falls’ counterparts in the semifinals 6-3, 6-2.

The Crookston tandem of Travis Vatthauer and Bobby Tiedmann, who were the second seed, came out on fire and took the title match 6-2, 6-0.

“Crookston was not missing a shot, they were hitting every line and probably played the best they have all tournament, as well,” said DL head coach Patrick Starbeck.

“They were playing out of their minds,” Isaac Fondrick said. “After that match, Alex and I took some time to ourselves and then Coach Starbeck talked to us to get us on the same page.

“We watched the third-place match, which was good, because it gave us time to calm down and allow us to carry our frustration over to the True Second match.”

It was all the Fondricks needed, as they secured the Lakers’ first state berth in what could be over two decades. Nobody interviewed knew if there has been a Laker boy tennis player who has made state in all that time.

“I know I’m excited about it,” Starbeck said. “They worked so hard in the offseason and it’s carrying over.

“The highlight for me on the day was in the semifinal match, when Alex took a backhand smash and let out the loudest grunt. Now, Alex is very quiet and subdued when he plays, so that just showed how ready they were to play and qualify for state.”

The Class 1A state meet will be Thursday and Friday, June 6-7, at the Reed-Swett Center in Minneapolis.          

Laker results - Section 8-1A doubles tournament in Perham, Tuesday, May 28

DL results – Alex Fondrick/Isaac Fondrick def. J. Dickenson/N. Lopez (PR) 6-1, 6-0; Fondrick/Fondrick def. H. Blowers/D. Hutton (TRF) 6-3, 6-2; Championship: T. Vatthauer/B. Tiedemann (Crk) def. Fondrick/Fondrick 6-2, 6-0…True Second: Fondrick/Fondrick def. Olson/Hutton (TRF) 6-3, 6-2

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