Toby Boyer, of Forest Lake, defeated Cason Hiers of St Paul Central in straight sets (Richard Sennott - Star Tribune photo)
It must be genetic. How else to explain Toby Boyer’s incredible season?
The Forest Lake sophomore barely picked up a tennis racquet over the winter, preferring to focus on basketball, his other passion. No tennis practice? No big deal.
Boyer improved to 25-0 on the season with a pair of straight-sets victories in the boys’ tennis Class 2A singles tournament Thursday at the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
The younger brother of four-time state champion Dusty Boyer defeated Jason Dilly of Becker 6-1, 6-1 in the first round and Cason Hiers of St. Paul Central 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. On Friday he will face Minneapolis South sophomore Jesse Sprinkel in a semifinal match.
“I didn’t play much over the winter, but when I came back, I found out that I liked tennis a lot more,” Boyer said.
The weight of his older brother’s legacy doesn’t faze him. In fact, he welcomes the comparison.
“I like the pressure,” he said. “I want to keep the championship in the Boyer name.”
Forest Lake coach Greg Patchin said he marvels at Boyer’s ability to elevate his game.
“Both him and his brother have that intangible that you just can’t coach,” Patchin said. “Whatever they need to do to win, they do it.”
Elsewhere in the Class 2A tournament, No. 1-seeded Max Olson of Edina had a little trouble with Elk River’s Josh Gearou in the quarterfinals, winning 6-4, 6-1. Gearou had won two previous meetings.
“Absolutely,” Edina coach Gary Aasen replied when asked if Olson had an added level of motivation for the match. “[Gearou’s] style has always given him trouble. Today, he kept the pressure on and didn’t rope-a-dope with him. He played to his strengths.”
Olson, a junior, will play Minnetonka junior Joey Richards in the other semifinal. Richards outfought Eagan’s Zach Ekstein in the day’s tightest quarterfinal, a grueling three-plus-hour match, winning 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.
Richards, who played three matches in the team tournament Tuesday and Wednesday, leaned on his father for a boost. “My dad gave me a massage,” he said. “That helped. But overall, I think I just played really well.”
A new singles champion was assured even before the singles tournament started when two-time champion Myles Tang of Breck withdrew because of an illness.
Tang, a senior, played in Tuesday’s team quarterfinal match but spent that evening in a hospital with a temperature higher than 103 degrees. He returned for Wednesday’s team championship match but lost to Blake’s Charlie Adams at No. 1 singles.
Friday’s singles schedule at the Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center will pit No. 1-seeded Adams against No. 4-seeded Luke Moorhead of Mound Westonka in one semifinal match while Blake sophomore Kavir Kumar will meet Thief River Falls senior Logan Engelstad in the other.