Bragging rights belonged to three teams from southwestern Idaho during the State 3A prep tennis tournament Friday and Saturday, May 20-21 at Vallivue High School in Caldwell.
They were Fruitland, Parma and Weiser. Overall, they were the top three teams in the 13-school meet by wide margin—Fruitland piling up 101 overall points, Parma 94 and Weiser 60.
Fruitland's Grizzlies ran away with their first-ever state tennis team championship by a 66.5-54 margin over three-time defending champion Parma. In boys' rankings, Parma slipped past Weiser by a 40-36 total for the 13th Panther state crown.
This year, the perennial 3A powerhouse Community School from Sun Valley had to settle for fourth place in the overall team, boys' team and girls' team standings.
Best result came from junior Tim Kanellitsas. He placed second in boys' singles behind Weiser senior Austin Winegar. No other Cutthroat placed out of the 14 who qualified for state.
Over two days the Cutthroats managed only 35 points winning nine of 26 matches.
Head coach Phil Huss said, "We met some tough competition. Lots of young players had the chance to see tennis played at a high level. They loved being part of the state tournament. Each player improved."
Kanellitsas played some great tennis at state, the coach added. He said, "Tim didn't drop a set on his journey to the finals. He met his match in the finals and lost 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) to the quarterback and football star from Weiser (Austin Winegar, a senior)."
Sophomore singles player Zach Lindahl also posted some feisty wins—three in straight sets—and made it to the semi-finals in the consolation round.
Here are top results and teams. For complete local state results check the Web site:
Final top overall team totals (state qualifiers in parentheses)
1—Fruitland (15).... 101 points
2—Parma (14).... 94
4—Community School (14)....35
Top boys' teams
1—Parma (13th state title) 40
4—Community School 25.5
Top girls' teams
1—Fruitland (1st state title) 66.5
4—Community School 9.5
Championship—Austin Winegar (Weiser senior) 6-3, 7-6 (2) over Tim Kanellitsas (Community School junior)
Third place—Bryce Nattress (Fruitland sophomore) 6-0, 4-6, 6-2 over Tanner Lair (Homedale senior—state champ BS 2010)
Championship—Shae Duren (Weiser senior) 6-4, 6-1 over Emily Tesnohlidek (Fruitland junior)
Third place—Landri Timmons (Parma sophomore) 6-0, 6-0 over Kaelyn Flaherty (Parma freshman)
Championship—Chance Velie-Kyler Beck (Parma junior-sophomore) 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 over Spencer Richardson-Matt Child (Weiser seniors)
Third place—Tanner Nielsen-Trevor Nielsen (Parma senior-freshman) 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 over Stillman Berkly-Nate Nesbitt (Clark Fork junior-senior)
Championship—Jami Farmer-Sadie Stutzman (Fruitland senior-sophomore) 6-0, 6-1 over Riley Brixey-Brittney Sorrell (Parma juniors)
Third place—Hannah Farmer-Abby Tesnohlidek (Fruitland sophomore-freshman) 6-0, 7-6 (3) over Amanda Chaney-Erica Nichols (Parma seniors)
Championship—Chris Fields-Lauren Farmer (Fruitland seniors) 6-2, 6-3 over Matt Bake-Kaley King (Payette sophomore-junior)
Third place—Kirk Rohrbacher-Melanie Loya (Parma junior-senior) 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 over Nick Garner-Karli Farmer (Fruitland seniors)