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Boys tennis: Fairview beats young Boulder in straight sets

While Boulder is in rebuild, Knights eye postseason hopes

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Ryan Grayson returns a ball during a #1 doubles tennis match against Boulder on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Clayton Baldwin returns a ball during a #2 doubles tennis match against Boulder on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Boulder High School's during a tennis match against Fairview on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Boulder High School's Carson Bennett shakes hands with Brody Pinto after a #1 doubles tennis match against Fairview on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Boulder High School's Alex Sutherland returns a serve during a #1 doubles tennis match against Fairview on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Luke Silverman returns the ball during a #1 singles tennis match against Boulder's Wyatt Stack on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Boulder High School's Ezra Doherty returns the ball during a #2 singles tennis match against Fairview's Adam Heilbronner on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Ryan Grayson waits for the serve during a #1 doubles tennis match against Boulder on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Boulder High School's Wyatt Stack returns the ball during a #1 singles tennis match against Fairview's Luke Silverman on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Brody Pinto serves the ball during a #1 doubles tennis match against Boulder on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Kian Grimison returns the ball during a #3 singles tennis match against Boulder's Danny Benjamin on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Boulder High School's Danny Benjamin returns the ball during a #3 tennis match against Fairview's Kian Grimison on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Zak Chehadi, left, slaps hands with teammate Clayton Baldwin during a #2 doubles tennis match against Boulder on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Adam Heilbronner returns the ball during a #2 singles tennis match against Boulder's Ezra Doherty on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Brody Pinto returns the ball during a #1 doubles tennis match against Boulder on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Kian Grimison serves the ball during a #3 singles tennis match against Boulder's Danny Benjamin on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Luke Silverman returns the ball during a #1 singles tennis match against Boulder's Wyatt Stack on Tuesday in Boulder.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Fairview High School's Ryan Grayson returns a ball during a #1 doubles tennis match against Boulder on Tuesday in Boulder.

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The match between rivals Fairview and Boulder was finished a few minutes past an hour after it’d started. The Knights not only won each match Tuesday afternoon, but every set.

If you were to graph out the respective arc of each program coming into their final duals of the season, Fairview would again measure high with another strong-looking team under longtime coach Chad Tsuda. Boulder, meanwhile, would be quite a ways behind with a first-year coach and a young roster that should grow with more experience.

“They have to see the lay of the land,” Boulder coach Nick Salazar said after his team’s 7-0 loss. “I like the schedule we played this year. We had Denver East, Kent (Denver), Fossil Ridge, Fairview — these are some of the best teams in the state.

Fairview High School's Luke Silverman returns ...
Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer
Fairview High School’s Luke Silverman returns the ball during a #1 singles tennis match against Boulder’s Wyatt Stack on Tuesday in Boulder.

“Having that type of experience, showing the guys that a lot of these kids are taking time throughout the year and not just the season to really improve their game, it’s something that I really hope they can take away from this. And since they’re so young, I think they have that opportunity to learn and develop from that.”

Want proof? Look no further than Fairview’s Adam Heilbronner.

The senior won the No. 2 singles job for the Knights this season, only a year after he was playing at No. 3 doubles. So far this fall, he’s beaten quality No. 2 players like Sam Keronen of Niwot and Brady Elliott of Fossil Ridge.

Donning a crisp white hat and black sneakers Tuesday, he was in command against Boulder’s Ezra Doherty and won 6-0, 6-2.

“What’s great about Fairview tennis is that we have such depth,” Tsuda said. “Adam worked his butt off at the beginning of last season until now. And really his hard work has paid off.”

Heilbronner’s growth as a player, on a large degree at least, can be credited to an offseason that included high-level club matches and a three-week experience at a tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.

At 6-3 in his nine matches listed on MaxPreps, Heilbronner said while the transition from high school doubles to singles hasn’t been seamless, he’s enjoyed the new role.

“I like a challenge,” Heilbronner said. “I’m always looking for a good challenge, and yeah, I’m ready for it.”

Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer
BOULDER, CO – SEPT. 24, 2019: Fairview High School’s Adam Heilbronner returns the ball during a #2 singles tennis match against Boulder’s Ezra Doherty on Tuesday in Boulder. (Photo by Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

On the court beside him, Luke Silverman won the No. 1 singles match over Wyatt Stack in straight games. No. 3 singles Kian Grimison needed just 13 games to complete his victory.

Leading the doubles teams, meanwhile, Ryan Grayson and Brody Pinto were first off the court Tuesday after beating the Panthers’ top pairing. Meshing well, Grayson, who was at No. 3 doubles last year, and Pinto, who returned to 1, could contend for a state title in a few weeks.

Its only loss of the season came in three sets to Regis Jesuit at the Cherry Creek Invitational earlier this month.

“We actually started playing with each other at the beginning of the summer,” Grayson said. “We kind of anticipated we’d be doubles partners, so we’ve gotten in a lot of practice, mixing up formations and stuff like that.”

Both players came close to gold last season as each were state runner-ups at their former positions. It can serve as motivation, they said. But the focus is ahead.

“At the same time, we have to forget about that match because it’s the low side of our seasons,” Pinto said. “It’s a new season, a new partner, a new team.”

Tsuda said his team will play at an invitational at Kent Denver Saturday. A few days later, the Knights and Panthers will take part in the Front Range League tournament Oct. 2-3.