BRAINERD -- The Kyle Fodness era kicked off with a bang for the Bemidji High School boys tennis team on Thursday.
Fodness, the first-year head coach who took the reins of the program from his father, Mark, saw BHS to a 5-2 win at Brainerd to begin the new season.
“It’s a good start, and it’s important that it’s (only) just that: It’s a start,” Fodness said. “The nice thing about this, a win or a loss, is you really see you have to get back on the practice courts with a lot of things to work on.”
A number of Lumberjacks picked up their first varsity wins during the match. That included sophomore Jacob Fuhrman and eighth-grader Jack McNallan, who secured Bemidji’s first team point with a 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 3 doubles.
“They played a really good match, good fundamentals and complemented each other really well,” Fodness said. “It was fun to watch them pretty much be in control of the match as young players.”
John McNallan also earned his first varsity win, pairing with Michael Dickinson for a 6-4, 6-4 win at top doubles. Logan Jensen and Casey Rupp were 6-4, 6-0 winners at second doubles for the clean sweep on that side.
Among the singles lineup, Filippo Buffo came back for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-0 win at the No. 1 spot, and the point he earned also clinched the team victory.
“Fiippo had a tough first set, just didn’t get off to a great start, and then boy did he settle into a really good rhythm in the second and third set,” Fodness said. “It was pretty fun watching him play. Again, he found his rhythm and started hitting his spots. When he’s on top of his game, it’s pretty impressive.”
Noah Johnson was a 3-6, 7-6, 10-5 winner at No. 2 singles to clinch his first varsity win, as well.
BHS will next welcome in Alexandria, the 2019 section champion, for its home opener at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27, at the high school.
Bemidji 5, Brainerd 2
No. 1: Buffo (BEM) def. Barber, 3-6, 6-1, 6-0
No. 2: Johnson (BEM) def. Moraghan, 3-6, 7-6, 10-5
No. 3: Madsen (BRD) def. Harris, 6-1, 6-0
No. 4: Boberg (BRD) def. Cerven, 6-4, 6-2
No. 1: Dickinson/Jo. McNallan (BEM) def. Campbell/Anderson, 6-4, 6-4
No. 2: Jensen/Rupp (BEM) def. Haglin/Emslander, 6-4, 6-0
No. 3: Fuhrman/Ja. McNallan (BEM) def. Schlegel/Schaitberger, 6-1, 6-1