Tennis: FGR finishes tied for fourth at competitive Division 4 State Finals

It was worth the wait for the Father Gabriel Richard tennis team. And Allegan finished tied for first overall – with an assist from FGR.

With all but the No. 3 singles semifinals and final completed Saturday afternoon at the Lower Peninsula Division 4 Tennis Finals at Hope College, Allegan and Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep were tied for first place with 21 total team points apiece. The No. 3 singles semifinals were moved to the evening, with a match between Hackett and Father Gabriel Richard set to determine if Hackett won the title outright or shared with Allegan.

After Hackett jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first set, Gabriel Richard senior Rafid Farjo quickly became Allegan’s favorite tennis player not wearing orange and black when he battled back to win the first set. Farjo then made every Allegan tennis player’s dream come true when he won the second set, sending him into the final at No. 3 singles and Allegan to the victory stand where the Tigers shared the team championship trophy with the Hackett team that it previously defeated for the Regional championship.

Allegan and Hackett both finished with 21 points. GPW University Liggett was third with 20 points and the Irish tied for fourth overall with Traverse City St. Francis with 18 points. GP NorthPointe Christian was sixth (17) points and GR Catholic Central was seventh (16).

Five points separated the top seven teams.

“It was a very exciting tournament,” said FGR Coach Jim Sayed. “I’m proud of all our guys for the tremendous effort they gave.

“Our captains Ian, Tommy and Rafid all had a fantastic tournament, and Tommy winning the first individual state title for the FGR men’s team ever was very special.”

Tommy is Tommy Heegan, who won the flight at No. 2 singles. Heegan cruised to the finals – winning 6-0, 6-0; 6-0, 6-4; and 6-2, 6-3 to reach the championship match. He defeated Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep’s Jack Ford 4-6, 3-3 (default) in the final.

At one singles, FGR’s Ian Sood reached the finals after a 6-0, 6-0 win in the second round, a 6-0, 6-2 win the quarterfinals and a 6-4, 6-4 win in the semifinals. He lost to Liggett’s William Cooksey 6-1, 6-1.

After winning a touch opening-round match 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 in the first round at four singles, FGR’s Ed Moon lost in the second round 7-6(2), 6-0 to Liggett’s Gerry Sherer.

At one doubles, FGR’s Bryce Grover and Michael Swortzel won 7-5, 7-5 over Hudsonville Unity Christian before losing a tough second-round match to Liggett 7-6(4), 7-6(1).        

FGR’s Tyler Zucks and Brady Karcher won 6-1, 7-5 over WB Frankel Jewish Academy to open things at two doubles up before falling to Allegan 6-1, 6-2 in the second round.

In three doubles, FGR’s Patrick Schubert and Max O’meara lost their first match to Ludington 6-0, 6-0.

At four doubles, Mason Deleiden and Grant Layne opened with a 7-5, 6-1 win over TC St. Francis before falling 6-3, 6-2 to Liggett in the second round.