5A boys state tennis: Chatfield's Christian Holmes, Fairview win titles

DENVER — Chatfield's Christian Holmes made history on Saturday at the Class 5A boys tennis state championships.

Holmes, a junior, won the school's first title at any boys tennis singles position in capturing the No. 1 singles championship.

"My school supports me a ton," Holmes said after his match. "My family, for 17 years, they've been training me for this moment. It's awesome to have the support from the school, the district, my family and my friends."

Holmes rallied from an early deficit to take the title over Fairview's Tom Melville (4-6, 6-3, 6-1).

"It really only took a few points to get some confidence back," Holmes said. "I think I was playing afraid the first set. To play for myself and for my school, and get some confidence. Once I got one, I started stringing them along. The crowd helped me out for sure."

After dropping the first set 6-4, Holmes found himself in hole down early in the second set. 

For Holmes, all it took was some confidence to battle back and force a split set, and eventually take the match win.

"He came out a lot faster than I did," Holmes said. "I got some confidence back and got pumped in the second set. I ended up grinding it out and I think all the energy from the second set carried me through to the third."

A huge reason for Holmes' surge was his ability to feed off the crowd.

"Throughout the season, we didn't get many crowds at our matches," Holmes said. "I told all my friends, 'If I make it to the finals, you better be there.' They kept up their end of the deal. It's awesome, Chatfield has a ton of support through the teachers and students for its athletes."

5A boys state tennis

(Cannon Casey/CHSAANow.com)

In that crowd, Holmes had his family. Holmes has four brothers that played tennis, and he grew up watching them.

"I grew up watching my older brothers. It was always my dream to win state at the No. 1 singles," Holmes said. "All their friends say, 'The only reason we come to Chatfield is to watch Christian win state.' It's unreal to finally be here and to take state with my family watching. Play to win instead of with a fear to lose.

"My brothers are my best friends, best coaches, best cheering section. It's really awesome to be there with them."

Fairview won the school's first boys tennis championship, with Melville's run to the finals playing a huge role.

"It's amazing. I don't know if anything has really set in yet," Fairview coach Chad Tsuda said. "I'm just happy for the guys. They worked so hard. Had their ups and downs this season, and just brought it all this weekend."

The team race had been close all weekend between Fairview, Cherry Creek and Regis Jesuit. That drama continued into Saturday until Fairview's Ethan Schacht secured the title for his team by winning the No. 2 singles championship, 6-3, 7-5 over Kosta Garger of Regis Jesuit.

The Knights had finished runner-up to Cherry Creek the past six years. 

"I was trying to forget it," Tsuda said. "Truly having a chance to compete with a Cherry Creek, a Regis is such an exciting feeling. Teams in the past, we knew how how good they were. Knowing we had an opportunity, they took every match as if it was their last."

The Knights flipped the script this year, finishing with 73 team points.

Cherry Creek finished in second in a down to the wire finish with Regis Jesuit. The Bruins won their No. 4 doubles match to secure second place with 68 points. Regis Jesuit finished in third with 65 points.

Fairview also secured individual titles at No. 2 singles (Schacht) and No. 3 singles (Andy Wu). 

"Leaders of our team. They stepped up all year," Tsuda said. "They didn't take any matches off and treated every one as if it was their last. They lead the team that way by telling the young guys that you can't take matches off."

Cherry Creek's wins came at No. 3 and 4 doubles.

Zach Smith and Nick Svichar won No. 3 doubles for Cherry Creek, while Tyler Schoen and Devin Brownstein added the deciding win at No. 4 doubles.

Regis Jesuit's wins came at No. 1 and 2 doubles as Regis Jesuit's Will Dennen and Patrick Seby beat Sam Angell and Drew Hill in three sets, and Evan Nuss and Emilio Gonzalez-Cruz defeated Cherry Creek's Stone Heyman and Nick Eidler.

Broomfield and Boulder finished tied for fourth place with 22 points.

5A boys state tennis Fairview team champions

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)