Wakefield seniors Bo Boyden and Jensen Martin and Middle Creek junior Nick Stachowiak added more championship hardware to their trophy cases Saturday morning at Millbrook Exchange Tennis Center in the 4A NCHSAA Individual state championships.
Boyden and Martin teamed up to win the Individual Doubles title with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Millbrook's junior Austin Cobb and freshman Josiah Schainblatt. Boyden, a UNC recruit, won the Individual Singles title last year and Martin, who will play at Charlotte next year, teamed up with Philip Lauture to win the Doubles championship last year. Now both turn their attention to the Dual Team Tournament, where the Woverines are defending state champions.
Stachowiak is ranked 12th nationally in the junior class and committed to Duke in December. He lost his only set of the high school season, but bounced back to win the state title, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 over Clayton junior Klein Evans. Stachowiak won the state title as a freshman but missed his sophomore season with back problems.
He also played Saturday with a little extra motivation. At the end of February, Middle Creek tennis coach Rhonda BLanchard passed away.
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“Going into this this match I knew she was watching over it,” Stachowiak said. “And after getting the win, I know she’s smiling.
“I played well in the first set but got a little frustrated in the second and then got it back together,” Stachowiak said of his win. “And Klein played well.”
Jeremy Cunningham, who stepped in to coach the Mustangs, watched Stachowiak dominate his matches all season.
“He started out playing well and even after he lost the second set, I thought he still had the match under control,” Cunningham said. “Nick had a pretty good day, and his opponent played really well.”
Evans finished third in the state last year and ended this season with a 26-3 individual record, with two losses to Stachowiak and one to Boyden.
“Yesterday was a tough day with three matches, and I came out a little nervous today, and I think Nick saw that and he dominated early, but in the second set I played really well,” Evans said.
“Klein played well today, but he just got beat by a very good player. Klein had a great season and a great tournament,” Clayton coach Ken Stivason said.
Boyden turned his ankle early Friday and received treatment late Friday and early Saturday before taking the doubles title. “I’ve got to give a big shout-out to coach (Brent) DorenKamp at Wakefield. The ankle’s better, and we’re definitely fortunate to have him,” Boyden said.
“Even with Bo’s bad ankle, they played very well,” Wakefield coach Ken Stewart said. “They are poetry in motion out there, they just flow. They’re not just tennis players, they are great athetes.”
“Winning this feels great, but the big goal is winning the team chammpionship, letting everyone have this feeling,” Boyden said. “That’s what we've been working for every day.”
The Wolverines play at Green Hope Monday. The state team championships are next Saturday.
“Having everyone ready to go, everyone in shape, is the Number One key,” Martin said of the team goal.
Millbrook’s Cobb knew the finals were a tough draw for him and Schainblatt.
“We've gotten better throughout the process,” Cobb said. “From conference play to this point, we’ve played better each time out. I’ve been playing these guys since I was 8, so we knew it was a tough task, but you’ve got to go into every match thinking you're going to win.”
Millbrook is also in the dual team tournament and plays at New Hanover Monday in the state quarterfinals.