Boys varsity tennis places eighth at the MHSAA State Tournament

In the culmination of the 2021 season, the boys varsity tennis squad looked to make a statement at the MHSAA State Tournament. 

It certainly wasn’t the program’s first rodeo at states; therefore, the coaching staff and players were amped up and ready to go at Hope College this past weekend. The output of FHC’s consistent dedication has been marvelous all season long, and nothing was different in the brightest lights of high school tennis. Overall, the Rangers placed eighth out of 21 teams and managed to rack up 12 total points. While the boys may not reside in their desired ranking, the team’s performance in Holland is reflective of its season-long devotion.

“I’m very proud of the team and how hard they worked,” head coach Dan Bolhouse said. “It was a fun group who had an excellent season.”

To no surprise, the first singles and doubles teams stole the show for FHC. 

As expressed in regionals, no pair has enjoyed more success this season than Walker Sjolin and Cully Herbert. The senior captains have dominated most opponents throughout the course of the season; a blowout win over White Lake Lakeland was exhibit A. Following the sweep, Cully and Walker took on UD Jesuit in the quarterfinals in an attempt to avenge the team’s loss to the Cubs previously this year. They did just that, as 6-4 and 7-5 victories sealed the deal and sent the two to the state semifinals. 

“It means a lot to me,” Cully said when asked about the magnitude of the state tournament. “I’m proud of representing the team as we did at states.”

Despite their season-defining win over UDJ, the Rangers ran into Midland Dow in the semis. Dow, a national powerhouse, seems to find the state finals year in and year out. Thus, FHC could not pull one out against the Chargers. Likewise, junior superstar Sammy Yin swept UDJ in the quarterfinal before falling to Groves High School. It has been quite the year for these two teams; their outings this past weekend displayed nothing less.

As the season flickers down to a finish, it is hard to turn away from what the senior class has provided. Even with considerable talent from the underclassmen, the Class of 2022 has brought unmatched leadership from day one. The FHC community has seniors Nick Yasenchak, Devin Holcomb, Walker Sjolin, Noah Moore, and Cully Herbert to thank for the eye candy that was the 2021 varsity tennis squad. 

“I’ll definitely miss the seniors as they move on,” coach Bolhouse said. “But, look for the younger boys to step up and fill the spots!”