Breck boys’ tennis coach Sion Wilkins had watched his team lose to Class 1A defending champion and archrival Blake 5-2 during the regular season, but it was the way the Mustangs lost that gave him hope.
“It was a different feeling than when we played them last year,” Wilkins said. “Last year, they beat us handily. This year, we competed with them. The guys believed they had a chance to beat them.”
Wilkins’ assessment was spot-on. Breck upset the Bears 4-3 in the Section 2 finals May 21.
The match came down to No. 3 doubles, which Wilkins anticipated, with seniors Seamus Walsh and Jack O’Grady.
“They weren’t nervous and were able to stay poised,” he said.
Walsh and O’Grady pulled out a three-set victory, earning Breck a state tournament berth and ending Blake’s chance to tie a state record with a fourth consecutive title.
Many of the Mustangs celebrated their title at prom that evening. “Seamus told me that was probably the best 24 hours of his life,” Wilkins said.
Baseball in Benin
Former Robbinsdale Little League coaches Gary Tonsager and Wally Langfellow left for the West African country of Benin on May 21 to promote their Baseball In Benin initiative.
Tonsager and Langfellow, a local radio broadcaster, founded the nonprofit entity in 2011 to introduce baseball to youth in the small, French-speaking nation. They have sent equipment, uniforms and shoes to Benin. In 2013 they hosted Benin native Fernando Atannon, who traveled to Robbinsdale to learn how to coach baseball.
Tonsager and Langfellow hope to build a baseball field in the city of Cotonou and arrange for a Benin team to come to Minnesota to play in the Robbinsdale Wood Bat tournament Aug. 4-7.