Cherry Creek sweeps in rolling to 5A boys tennis championship

Cherry Creek players celebrate their team championship with the trophy. (Ryan Casey/

Cherry Creek players celebrate their team championship with the trophy. More photos. (Ryan Casey/

DENVER -- It was not a forgone conclusion when the day started. But by the time everyone was gathered around the East Center Court at Gates Tennis Center? Yeah, Cherry Creek's domination was clear.

The Bruins set a Class 5A boys tennis record with 98 points and swept all seven positions en route to a third-consecutive team title. It is the school's 38th championship in the sport over the past 41 seasons.

"It's quite a run," coach Art Quinn said afterward. "The boys did a great job."

No 5A school had swept all seven positions since 1998. That school? Creek.

"We're blessed with a large and dedicated student body," Quinn said. "We've got a lot of players that put in a lot of time. We've got a wonderful program that supports us all the way down.

"We put in the work every day and the kids put in extra work every week. It really is an accumulation of years and years of blood, sweat and tears and hopes and dreams and chunking off lots of hours on the tennis court, in the classroom and in the training room."

Cherry Creek's Zach Fryer. (Ryan Casey/

Cherry Creek's Zach Fryer. More photos. (Ryan Casey/

When the day started, Cherry Creek had 77 points to second-place Fairview's 69. The Knights had a legitimate shot at their first-ever championship, but needed to dominate the five head-to-head matches with the Bruins they had on Saturday. Instead, Cherry Creek went 5-0 and 7-0 overall. (Full results.)

"We can't exist without the players and the teams on the other side of the net," Quinn said. "We can't exist without the programs that help push us. It's not up to your opponent to make you better, it's up to you to make you better. But the relationship between you and your opponent is a valuable one. We're all out here to make each other better.

"The fact of the matter is, going into today, this was a very close tournament," Quinn said. "And (Fairview coach Chad) Tsuda and the players he had should be very proud of that."

Included in Cherry Creek's run was Zach Fryer's individual title at No. 1 singles -- the school's first at the position since 2005. He beat Fairview's Ignatius Castelino (6-4, 6-4) by holding serve after narrowly missing out on match point in the previous game.

"I've had to close out a few matches. Actually, that was exactly where I wanted to be: serving it out," Fryer said. "I just did what I practiced before in closing out games."

By constantly moving him side-to-side, Fryer was able to wear Castelino down late in the match, and rallied from down 2-1 in the second set to secure the win.

"It feels great," Fryer said. "I love the atmosphere here, and then to just help the team, as well.  It's a lot different than playing USTA tournaments because (there) it's all individual. Here you have your team behind you and supporting you, and you also want to win for your team, too, because you don't want to let them down."

Fairview finished second with 73 team points. Mountain Vista was third with 46.

Fairview's Ignatius Castelino serves during the 5A No. 1 singles final. (Ryan Casey/

Fairview's Ignatius Castelino serves during the 5A No. 1 singles final. More photos. (Ryan Casey/