Hoium goes 1-1 at state tennis tourney

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Pictured above are most of the people that were on hand for the state send-off for Eric Hoium, who earned a berth at the State Boys Tennis Tournament last week where he went 1-1 to tie for fifth place.

Eric Hoium went 1-1 at the State Boys Tennis Tournament last Thursday at the Read-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.

Hoium, a senior from Benson who won the Section 6A title a week earlier, was the ninth boy from BHS to earn a berth in the State Boys Tennis singles tournament.

Hoium topped St. James’ Lucas Doll in the opening round, Thursday morning, 6-0, 4-6, 6-1, but then ran up against third-seeded freshman Justin Prochnow, of Mounds Park Academy, who handed Hoium a 6-4, 6-1 setback.

And, because all the losers in the quarterfinals are done for the season, Hoium ended the tournament as one of four players tied for fifth with 1-1 records.

Hoium ended his senior season with an 18-3 record and was an unofficial 83-30 for his six-year career, which included a 12-0 record his seventh grade season at fourth singles.

“Eric played some great tennis, but the competition at the state level is very good,” coach Jonas Grossman said.  “He played some of his best tennis at the end of the season, and that is what you’re hoping for.  It’s been a great season, and we had a great time at the state meet.”

•  Hoium, who has earned five All-Conference honors, has gone 12-0, 16-4, 9-10, 13-8, 15-5, and 18-3 in his six seasons starting on the varsity.

•  The Benson-KMS boys tennis team closed out the 2019 season with a 6-8 overall record after losing to NLS in the opening round of the Section 6A Team Tournament by a 4-3 score.  Pine City went on to earn the section title with a 6-1 win over Litchfield in the finals.
Pine City went 0-2 at the state tourney, while Mounds Park Academy edged St. Paul Academy, 4-3, for the Class A title, the Breck School topped Rochester Lourdes, 5-2, for third, and Hibbing edged Thief River Falls, 4-3, for the consolation title.

•  Hoium was the first BHS boy to qualify to state boys tennis in singles since Ethan Ratliff-Crain qualified in 2011.  Benson-KMS has also had seven doubles’ teams qualify to state, the most recent in 2012.

•  Mike Haase (1965) was the first Benson boys tennis player to reach state in singles.  Other state qualifiers from BHS in singles are Warren Johnson (1967), James Munson (1976), Ben Jacobson (1992, 1993, and 1994), Jon Koenigs (1992 and 1993, Lucas Elliott (1996), David Breyel (2003), and Ethan Ratliff-Crain (2011).
Jacobson and Koenigs were the first to win a match at state in singles, with both players going 1-1 in 1992, but they took it up a notch the following year when Koenigs went 3-1 to place second and Jacobson was also 3-1 to place third.  The following year, Jacobson went 3-1 at state again to place third.

•  Seventeen BHS boys have qualified to state tennis in singles or doubles:  Dennis Pederson, Gary Foster, Andy Kjos, Jon Koenigs, Daniel Fragodt, Joey Fragodt, Steven James, Ben Murphy, and Luke Widseth have qualified to state in doubles, and Mike Haase, Warren Johnson, Jim Munson, Jon Koenigs, Ben Jacobson, Lucas Elliott, David Breyel, Ethan Ratliff-Crain, and Eric Hoium have qualified to state in singles.

Koenigs is the only BHS boy to qualify to state in doubles and singles and he placed second in 1993 to tie with David Breyel for the top finish at state in tennis.  Koenigs and Jacobson also are the only BHS boys to reach state three-straight years...

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