Boys varsity tennis places third at the OK White Conference Tournament


In the twilight of the 2021 season, the boys varsity tennis team did not disappoint.

A grueling, gritty schedule faced by the Rangers this year had prepared them for the OK White Conference Tournament on Saturday; FHC has experienced matches all year long with conference powerhouses such as the Northern Huskies and Byron Center. In the end, the boys tied for third place after a strong showing from a multitude of players.

One of those players was sophomore Nico Notarnicola. Nico–a second-year varsity player–stepped into FHC’s fourth singles spot and delivered back-to-back wins in convincing fashion over Northview and Lowell. This seemed to be a common theme, as juniors Chris Shang and Sammy Yin and freshmen William Wen came out on top against the Wildcats as well.

After last week’s tie with top-ranked Forest Hills Northern, the Rangers picked multiple wins against the Huskies. Sammy fought Northern’s first singles in an intense battle; a 7-5 edge in the first set for Yin did the trick for his eventual victory. Individually, Sammy placed second amongst his conference opponents and proved his value to this team. 

“We had lots of time for reflection,” Sammy said. “Coach would sit us down and talk about everything from physical to mental strategies and how we could do better and learn from previous matches.”

Similar to Sam, seniors Walker Sjolin and Cully Herbert got the best of FHN in their match. In the end, it came down to a clutch point to clinch the first set; the rest was history.

FHC’s final score of 14 in comparison to 21 from FHN and 15 from Byron Center lines the Rangers up in a solid spot for regionals. There is no doubt that the OK White is the most complete top-to-bottom conference in Michigan with five teams in the top 8.

“The team played well against the toughest conference in the state,” head coach Dan Bolhouse said.

This coming Thursday on October 7, the boys varsity tennis team participates in the culmination of this fall season: MHSAA Regionals. The all-day tournament at FHN High School will showcase the talent that the boys have worked for to this point.