The Crookston Pirate Boy’s Tennis team hosted two big Section 8A matches against Perham and East Grand Forks earlier today.  With the seeding meeting on Friday night, this was a big triangular for seeding purposes for all three teams. Crookston won the first match of the day with an impressive 6-1 victory over Perham.  The match was much closer than the 6-1 score indicated as Crookston won four three-set tie-breakers. The Pirates also found a way to beat East Grand Forks in a thrilling 4-3 match to give them two huge Section 8A victories before the seeding meeting.

It was also Senior Day and the Pirates honored eight seniors. The seven players honored were Erik Coauette, Jack Garmen, Mason Owens, Evan Christensen, George French, Joey Brule, and Austin Crawford, and team manager Emma Osborn was also honored.

Perham took an early lead when Josh Peterson beat Erik Coauette 6-0, 6-0 at first singles. “Erik played well,” said Pirate Coach Pat Janorschke. “But his opponent played very well today.”

Crookston tied the match at 1-1 when the first doubles team of Evan Christensen and Mason Owens made quick work of their opponents with a 6-3, 6-0 victory. It was the first match for Christensen in several weeks because of an injury. “It was nice to have those two back at first singles,” said Coach Janorschke. “That definitely makes our team deeper, and it showed with their dominating win.”

Crookston took a 2-1 lead when Isaac Thomforde won his third singles match in three sets.  Isaac came out strong and won the first set 6-1 before falling in the second set 6-3.  In the third set, Isaac battled and came away with a 10-5 win to win the match and give his team a 2-1 lead with four matches left.  “Isaac played well in the first set and unfortunately struggled a bit in the second set,” said Coach Janorschke. “In typical Isaac fashion he finished strong and found a way to win and that is great to see.”

Crookston took a commanding 3-1 lead when Reggie Winjum won his match at fourth singles.  Reggie won a hard-fought first set.  The first set was tied at 6-6, and they went into a tie-breaker.  Reggie outlasted his opponent to win 13-11.  In the second set, Reggie won another close set 6-4 to give his team the 3-1 lead with three matches left.  “Reggie is always consistent and he doesn’t get too excited and doesn’t get too down,” said Coach Janorschke. “That helps him, plus he returns so many balls back and that frustrates his opponents.”

The next three matches all ended about the same time, and the Pirates came away with three more victories.  At second singles, Jack Garmen had a marathon battle that took just under two hours.  He won the first set 6-3, and lost the second set 7-5, forcing a third set.  In the third set tie-break, Jack won 12-10 to give Crookston a 4-1 lead and the team victory. “Jack had a great first set, but his opponent came back and played well,” said Coach Janorschke. “Jack came through in the end and picked up a big win.”

The next match complete was at second doubles, with Nathan Kelly and Kaleb Armstrong earning another three-set victory.  Kelly and Armstrong came out a little slow and lost the first set 6-3.  They started to play better in the second set and won 6-3, forcing a third set tie-breaker.  In the third set, the Pirates won 10-6 for a 5-1 lead. “They came out a little slow, to say the least,” said Coach Janorschke. “But they recovered and played well the rest of the way and some of it was getting used to playing with each other again.”

The last match completed was at third doubles, and as you would guess, it came down to the fourth, third set tie-breaker of the match.  Crookston’s Sam Widseth and Tim Brule lost a tough first set 7-5, but bounced back to win the second set 6-4 to force another third set tie-breaker.  Widseth and Brule outlasted their opponents for a 13-11 victory to give their team a 6-1 win. “They played well today and their opponents were a solid team,” said Coach Janorschke. “They are a solid duo at third doubles and even though Tim had an injury, he was able to play through it.”

CROOKSTON-6 Perham-1 Win Score
1st Erik Coauette Josh Peterson PER 6-0, 6-0
2nd Jack Garmen Mikey Schwantz Cro 6-3, 5-7, 12-10
3rd Isaac Thomforde Jack Kirkland Cro 6-1, 3-6, 10-5
4th Reggie Winjum Mason Happel Cro 7-6 (13-11), 6-4
1st Dubs Evan Christensen
Mason Owens
Soren Anderson
Hudson Hackel
Cro 6-3, 6-0
2nd Nathan Kelly
Kaleb Armstrong
Avery Halvorson
Reese Willprecht
Cro 3-6, 6-3, 10-6
3rd Sam Widseth
Tim Brule
Mike Anderson
Brekken Wokash
Crox 5-7, 6-4, 13-11


Reggie Winjum had no problems putting Crookston in front early with a dominating win at #4 singles. Reggie managed a perfect 6-0, 6-0 straight-sets victory in a little under an hour to put the Pirates in front 1-0.

Shortly after Jack Garmen followed with a win at #2 singles giving Crookston a 2-0 edge in the match. Jack face some resistance in the opening set winning it 6-2 but cruised in the second set for a 6-1 win leading the whole way. a short time after that Isaac Thomforde added to the Pirates lead with an impressive effort himself. Isaac had little trouble at #3 singles winning his first set 6-1 before taking the second set 6-2 and putting Crookston in front for the match 3-0 and only needing one more point for a big Section 8A victory. “All three of those first matches was exactly the way I thought we should be playing from the start,” said Coach Janorschke. “Those guys hit the court running and got the job done quickly and efficiently.”

The final four matches took much longer with the next one finishing being the battle at #1 singles between Erik Coauette and Carson Knutson. The first set was a hard back and forth battle with Knutson taking set one for the Green Wave 6-4. In the second set, Erik would find himself behind 4-5 with Knutson on serve. Knutson would hold serve and win the second set as well 6-4 for a straight-sets win to put East Grand Forks on the board and down in the match 1-3.

Shortly after, the Green Wave won another point with a win at #3 doubles. The Pirates duo of Sam Widseth and Tatum Lubinski battled in both sets, but the Green Wave would win the first set 7-5, before taking the second set 6-4 and giving Crookston a 3-2 lead with two matches remaining.

That left the match in the hands of the #1 doubles team of Evan Christensen and Mason Owens, and the #2 doubles team of Nathan Kelly and Kaleb Armstrong, with the Pirates just needing one win to secure the victory.

The #1 doubles match would head to a third set tie-breaker after the Pirates won the first set 6-2, and East Grand Forks stormed back to win the second set 6-2. The tie-breaker went back and forth with the Green Wave jumping out in front before the Pirates clawed their way back. Both teams had multiple opportunities for a match point, and it appeared Crookston had won the match on a ball that hit the backline but was ruled out. East Grand Forks would then win the next two points after that for a remarkable 16-14 third set win to even the match at 3-3.

That meant the only other match in progress was the #2 doubles match of Nathan Kelly and Kaleb Armstrong, against Tommy Loer, and Tanner Campos, with the winner also winning their team the match. The Pirates managed to win the first set 7-5 before the second set went to a tie-break.

Crookston pulled ahead slightly in the tie-break getting the first two points, but by the time the teams changed sides of the court, the Green Wave had tied it back up at 3-3. EGF then got two of the next three points to pull ahead 5-4. Crookston came right back getting two of the next three points from there to tie things back up at 6-6. With the match on the line, Crookston would rattle off back-to-back points to secure the tie-break victory 8-6, winning them the set 7-6, and also winning them the match 4-3. “Those guys hung in there during that tie-break,” said Coach Janorschke. “I know they were getting tired but I’m certainly glad they were able to pull it off because we certainly needed that win for seeding purposes in the Section 8A Tournament.”

Crookston is now 10-9 on the season and will begin preparation for the Section 8A Tournament that will begin next Monday, May 23.

1st S Erik Coauette Carson Knutson EGF 6-4, 6-4
2nd Jack Garmen Thomas McMahon Crox 6-2, 6-1
3rd Isaac Thomforde Kai Campos Crox 6-1, 6-2
4th Reggie Winjum Jeb Haaven-Farstad Crox 6-0, 6-0
1st Dubs Evan Christensen
Mason Owens
Seth Aaker
Jonah Tollefson
EGF 2-6, 6-2, 16-14
2nd Nathan Kelly
Kaleb Armstrong
Tommy Loer
Tanner Campos
Crox 7-5, 7-6 (8-6)
3rd Sam Widseth
Tatum Lubinski
Trey D’Heilly
Tate Steenerson
EGF 7-5, 6-4