James Much is set to make history this week at the state tennis tournament.
He is the first Gobbler to make the tourney as a singles player on the boys side and the first to make the tourney at all since 2012 when Alex Anderson and Dan Klucas represented Aitkin in the doubles competition.
The only other boys to make state were Dan Burke and Adam Cook in 2008. Much takes a record of 12-10 into the tourney and faces the top seed in Clayton Haberman of Breck School, who is 15-4 on the season.
Much is looking forward to the experience.
“I am so excited. After the match in Sections that got me to state, my opponent gave me the tennis ball and I ran around trying to find a Sharpie to mark it.”
As far as state goes, “I was hoping to face someone who is a good challenge and I guess I got that.”
Much opens the tourney with an 8 a.m. match on June 10 at St. Cloud Tech High School.
Sam Peterson, Carter Dox and Jon Blanchette got to live out a dream the past couple of weeks as they stayed home (Sam) and headed to Greeneville, Tennessee (Carter and Jon) for post-season college baseball.
The latter two were in the NCAA Division III World Series and even though they won their first game against Niagara County of New York they lost the next two and were eliminated. Dox got into game two against Gloucester, a 6-3 loss, facing two hitters and not allowing a run. He was excited about the experience.
“The tournament was awesome,” he said. “It was a great experience that I will never forget. We played really well and were in every game but just couldn’t finish when we had the lead. It was a great experience nevertheless and we’ll be back next season.”
Blanchette unfortunately didn’t get into any of the games but enjoyed the experience anyway, saying, “It was the experience of a lifetime.”
Peterson and his Eagles of Northwestern took it to the limit before losing a heartbreaking, one-run game to Johns Hopkins in the regional title game played on the Eagles home field in Roseville.
He had a great tourney, going 7-21 and knocking in the winning run in the win over St. Mary’s of Rochester. He will never forget the season or how it ended, “Making history was such a fun experience not only winning the UMAC regular season title but the tournament as well.
“We tied the UMAC record of three wins at the Regional. The seniors are a special group of people and players. Guys came up in clutch situations and came through for us. We were one run shy of making the NCAA Tourney. I’m just happy to have been a part of it.”