The Dixie Flyers boys tennis team displays the 4A state championship trophy after winning the title Saturday, May 20, 2023, in Salt Lake City | Photo courtesy of UHSAA Twitter, St. George News
SALT LAKE CITY — A two-point margin is all that separated the top two teams at the 4A boys state tennis tournament. In the end, Dixie edged Crimson Cliffs despite singles victories by Max and Adam Miner.
Under the new scoring system, the Flyers amassed 42 points, while the Mustangs followed at 40. Ridgeline was third at 39 and Desert Hills and Green Canyon tied for fourth at 22. The event was staged at Liberty Park Tennis Courts in Salt Lake City.
Dixie advanced all three singles players and both doubles tandems into the Saturday morning semifinals. At No. 2 doubles, Ty Durst and Chase Faldmo of Crimson Cliffs, who were seeded sixth, had upset third-seeded Tyson Wilkins and McKay Soliai 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the semis. Trailing 1-3 in the semifinal match, however, Durst and Faldmo were forced to withdraw, which put Dixie’s Garrett Bishop and Michael Winward into the finals.
The No. 2-ranked Flyer duo fell to No. 1 seed in Green Canyon’s Zach Crane and Carson Shakespear by a score of 1-6, 6-2, 7-6(2). But the four points awarded for advancing to the finals proved to be pivotal in the scoring.
“Amazing tennis! Dixie did great, but I’m so impressed with Ridgeline,” wrote Crimson Cliffs coach Colin Brown in a text to St. George News. “Their 1 and 2 singles are nothing short of amazing. We had some unfortunate events with our second-seeded first doubles exiting early and our second doubles having to default from injury. But it was a great season to end my high school coaching career!”
Brown will be stepping down after four years as the Mustang boys and girls tennis coach. He has headed up the programs since the school’s inception in fall 2019.
The Flyers, who won state titles from 1994-99 and in 2001, had a strong semifinal at No. 1 and No. 2 singles as the Miner brothers advanced to the afternoon finals.
At No. 1 singles, top seed Max Miner, a junior, beat No. 3 seed Dillon Johnson of Ridgeline, bouncing back from a shaky first set to win 0-6, 6-2, 6-0. Max Miner reached the finals by way of a 6-1, 6-3 semifinal victory over Dixie’s Luke Jolley, who was seeded No. 4.
Meanwhile, at No. 2 singles, Max’s younger brother Adam, a freshman, won his semifinal match, beating fourth seed Jackson Holman of Desert Hills 6-2, 7-5. Seeded first, Adam Miner advanced to the championship round where he defeated No. 2 Thatcher Ellis of Ridgeline 5-7, 6-2, 6-1.
No. 2 Davis Low of Ridgeline won the No. 3 singles title 6-0, 6-1, besting Dixie’s Gavin Bishop, who was seeded first. Bishop had reached the title tilt via a 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 win over No. 4 Nathan Bentley of Crimson Cliffs.
Top seeds Austin Beckstrom and Ari Fackrell of Dixie were the Flyers’ only individual champions. They captured the No. 1 doubles title by way of a 7-5, 6-2 win over No. 3 Braden Koch and Bryce Jensen of Snow Canyon. Beckstrom and Fackrell won their semifinal match 6-0, 6-1 over No. 5 Taggart McCullough and Kayson Reeder of Ridgeline, while Koch and Jensen’s semifinal win came over No. 7 Jeffrey Purcell and William Gardner, the Desert Hills pair that upset No. 2 Tanner Fraser and Joshua Fraser of
Crimson Cliffs 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Dixie's Ari Fackrell competes at state 4A tennis tournament, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 19, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Ron Enloe, St. George News
Dixie's Garrett Bishop competes at state 4A tennis tournament, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 19, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Ron Enloe, St. George News
Dixie's Gavin Bishop competes at state 4A tennis tournament, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 20, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Ron Enloe, St. George News
Dixie and Crimson Cliffs players at state 4A tennis tournament, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 20, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Ron Enloe, St. George News
Dixie coaches and players (L-R) Warren Brooks, Christian Wright, Luke Jolley, Gavin Bishop, Michael Winward, Garrett Bishop, Caleb Kroll, Ari Fackrell Austin Beckstrom, Andrew Fackrell and Britt Beckstrom. Holding championship trophy at state 4A tennis tournament, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 20, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Ron Enloe, St. George News
Dixie players with championship trophy (L-R): Michael Winward, Garrett Bishop, Caleb Kroll, Ari Fackrell, Austin Beckstrom, Gavin Bishop, and Luke Jolley. Salt Lake City, Utah, May 20, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Ron Enloe, St. George News
Dixie's Ari Fackrell and Austin Beckstrom, winners of the No. 1 doubles bracket at state 4A boys tennis tournament, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 20, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Ron Enloe, St. George News
Cedar coach Christian Wright instructs No. doubles players Garrett Bishop and Michael Winward during state 4A boys tennis tournament, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 19, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Ron Enloe, St. George News
FInal standings of the 4A boys state tennis championship, May 20, 2023 | Image courtesy of UHSAA.org, St. George News
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vin Cappiello has been involved in journalism in various capacities since age 16, when his first story was published in the Rockland County Journal-News in suburban New York CIty. He has worked at newspapers in Ohio, Idaho and Wyoming and now serves as evening editor of St. George News. Vin and his wife Lisa have three grown children: Gabriella, Sara and Maggie. Vin and Maggie are 3rd-degree and Lisa is a 2nd-degree black belt in taekwondo. Vin also is the author of the young adult novel, "A Quarter Mile From Home." He enjoys hiking, camping, fly-fishing and running, preferably with Lisa.