Players excited for a new opportunity as Osakis boys tennis starts its first season back in nearly 30 years with a 2-0 record
Osakis has 10 guys on its first boys tennis team since the early 1990s, but they are anchored by one of the top players in the section at No. 1 singles and an excited group behind sophomore Isaac Maddock at that spot.
Osakis already has a girls tennis program that has a long history of success that includes regularly being able to compete for section titles .
Matching that with a boys team might be a long ways off, but a program has to start somewhere. That’s where the Silverstreaks are at right now as Osakis added boys tennis to its spring activities list this year.
Osakis boys tennis had its last team in the early 1990s, and was scheduled to begin again in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the Minnesota State High School League spring season.
“It’s been going really good,” Ryan Maddock, who is the coach for both the boys and girls programs, said. “Everyone has had a really good attitude, and I think even more so after our first match on Friday. We’re seeing a lot of good things for our experience level. We didn’t know for sure (how competitive we’d be), but it’s been going really good.”
The Silverstreaks are off to a 2-0 start after a 5-2 win at MACCRAY on April 16 and a 4-3 win over Montevideo in their home opener on Thursday.
Sophomore Isaac Maddock, senior Logan Grove and 8th-grader Bryce Moen all got wins in singles against Montevideo. Eighth-grader Micah Moore and 7th-grader Tyler Stier added a fourth win at second doubles in a tiebreaker.
“It’s been a fun and relaxing environment,” coach Maddock said. “Just to teach the game and show them how it all goes...Practices are a lot of fun right now because you see monumental improvements. They’ve really picked things up in a hurry, so that’s been good to see.”
Isaac Maddock, Ryan’s son, is the only player with previous competitive tennis experience among the 10 guys currently on the roster.
Thief River Falls is a good team in Osakis’ Section 8A field, and Minnewaska has a well established program with junior Tate Reichmann anchoring the Lakers at first singles. Isaac Maddock looks ready to compete at a very high level at the No. 1 singles spot too. He has yet to drop a game after taking both of his matches in straight sets.
“I played some tournaments around Minnesota and North Dakota. I’ve played a lot, so it’s fun to be able to share that experience with the team,” Isaac said. “I’ve played a lot of different kids from the cities who are at the same skill level. I think I have the experience to compete.”
Isaac has big goals for himself right off the bat in this first season, but he’s also hopeful that he can be part of growing this program for Osakis.
“The main thing is just have fun,” Isaac said. “If we get some wins, that would be awesome, but it’s all about getting experience this year and moving forward next year and the years after that. I think tennis is a really fun sport. A lot of different kids, different styles can play the game. It’s not just one type of person who can play the game.”
Senior Jacob Uhl joins Grove in being the only two seniors on the roster. Sophomores Marcus Wolf and Connor Gulbranson were also in the varsity lineup on Thursday at first doubles where they fell in a 7-6 (7-1), 6-1 match to Tyson Quigley and Andrew Soden.
Osakis had to forfeit its third doubles match due to a lack of numbers.
“The long-term vision is to have another opportunity for kids who aren’t interested in what the other options are,” coach Maddock said of his hope for this program in the future. “From time to time, we might have to forfeit a spot, but we’re hoping to not have to do that down the road. We would like it to stick. The young guys we have are really taking to it.”
Grove just wrapped up his senior season in wrestling where he was one of the top athletes for the Silverstreaks on the mat.
“It’s a little frustrating not being able to go out and end the match in a minute,” Grove said with a smile on the differences between the two sports. “Both my sets today went past the normal six, so it’s just a lot longer than wrestling. I have to keep my mental focus for a lot longer.”
Grove won a tight two-setter on Thursday against Bergen Pedersen in a 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 final. That’s after taking a 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-4 match against MACCRAY in the season opener. Escaping with tight wins like that has been a fun start to the season for an athlete who wanted to give tennis a try.
“Mr. Maddock is a great coach, and he’s coached me previously in different sports,” Grove said. “I just thought it would be fun to come out and play with him, and I’ve played tennis with Isaac a couple of times. It’s just fun.”
The goal this year for the Silverstreaks is pretty simple.
“Just gain experience,” Grove said. “Every match, every time we play we get better as a team. We just want to go out there and try to do our best no matter what the score is.”
Osakis has found the model for how its girls program can consistently compete at a high level. The Silverstreaks are excited to offer it for the boys and to see how tennis can grow in the future.
“With the girls, we’ve just had so many fantastic athletes and Osakis has a strong history from years ago,” coach Maddock said. “That would be the blueprint in an ideal situation. That will take a little time, but it’s such a good game.”
OSAKIS 4, MONTEVIDEO 3
SINGLES - No. 1 - Isaac Maddock (O) def. Lucas Hoium, 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 - Logan Grove (O) def. Bergen Pedersen, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5; Joey Foss (M) def. Jacob Uhl, 6-2, 7-5; No. 4 - Bryce Moen (O) def. Evan Buckingham, 6-2, 6-0
DOUBLES - No. 1 - Tyson Quigley/Andrew Soden (M) def. Marcus Wolf/Connor Gulbranson, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1; No. 2 - Micah Moore/Tyler Stier (O) def. Connor Hagen/Sam Ostendorf, 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 10-8; No. 3 - Montevideo won by forfeit