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Crookston's Isaac Thomforde takes 25-2 record to state tennis tournament

Jun. 4—GRAND FORKS — Isaac Thomforde decided he was going to play a spring sport as a freshman.

He just didn't know which one.

One of his friends was pushing golf. The other was pushing tennis.

"I don't know what made me decide tennis, but I did," Thomforde said. "I had a couple of really good friends on the team. They were a couple years older. They were my mini-coaches and mentors. They taught me technique, how to hit a backhand, forehand, serve the right way."

Thomforde cracked the varsity lineup, playing No. 3 doubles.

How'd it go?

"Well," he said, "I sucked."

He went 3-17 that season as Evan Christensen, Mason Owens and Erik Coauette taught him the basics.

"After that, I put a ton of work in the offseason," he said. "I did tennis camps and academies. I took some lessons from Tim (Wynne) at Choice. I got better every single day."

Thomforde went 19-4 at No. 3 singles as a sophomore. He vaulted to the No. 1 singles spot as a junior and senior.

Now, he's headed to the Minnesota state Class A boys singles tournament as the No. 3 seed. Thomforde will play Breck School's Patrick Green at 8 a.m. Thursday in the Round of 16.

"I'll have a tough match against Patrick Green," Thomforde said. "He's a really good player. The Cities area has so many good players. I'm just hoping to play the best tennis I can."

It will cap off a memorable senior year for Thomforde.

He's 25-2 and won the Section 8A singles title last week in Osakis, Minn. Thomforde beat Jowell Gamez of New London-Spicer 4-6, 6-0, 7-5 in the final. It's the third time he's beaten Gamez. All were three-set matches.

Thomforde's biggest weapons are his forehand and serve.

"He has a great serve," said Crookston coach Shelly Thomforde, Isaac's mother. "Even his second serve is strong. He has two very strong serves and he definitely uses that to his advantage."

The Minnesota state tournament won't be the end of the road in tennis for Thomforde. He's planning to play college tennis for Northwestern University in St. Paul, Minn., next year.

"I'm most thankful God has given me a gift that I can compete with a purpose," Thomforde said. "I feel that being able to play well in a section tournament or to play No. 1 singles for a high school tennis team or making state is a huge blessing from God."

And there was an assist from his friends.

"He totally fell in love with the sport because of his friends," Shelly said. "He played basketball, but tennis is his true love."

When: Thursday and Friday.

Where: Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center, Minneapolis.

Notable: Crookston's Isaac Thomforde is the No. 3 seed.