In 18 years at the helm, Ferndale tennis coach Rudy Vendiola had never had a boys’ doubles team win a district title, and from his research, he said he couldn’t find and record of anybody winning one in the seven years the program existed before he took over.
Squalicum coach Joe O’Brien has led the Squalicum tennis program for 15 of 17 seasons since the school opened in 1999, and he never had a boys’ singles player advance to state.
Both those strings are now over.
Ferndale’s Tommy and Cavan Lyons beat Snohomish’s Nick Adell and Landon Strickland 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 to win the Class 3A Northwest District doubles title Friday, Oct. 28, at Arlington, becoming the first Golden Eagles to accomplish the feat.
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“As a coach, it shows all the offseason work that they invested and all the time they put in after practice to continue to hit and improve their game,” Vendiola said.
Squalicum’s Colin Weller lost to Snohomish’s Kincaid Norris 6-4, 6-4 in the singles championship match, but by finishing second, he became the first Storm singles player to advance to state for O’Brien. Weller’s feat is even more impressive, considering this is the first season since Squalicum moved up to Class 3A.
“I think I played some of my best tennis (Friday),” Weller said. “Kincaid had some good ability on the other side of the net. He worked me back and forth, but I think we’re both able to walk away saying we played some good tennis.”
The Lyons’ win capped off a record-setting season for Ferndale, as the Golden Eagles set a team record with a 12-2 mark in NWC play. Tommy, a sophomore, posted a 9-4 record as Ferndale’s No. 1 singles player during the regular season, while Cavan, a senior, went 12-1 at No. 3 singles.
“The adversity they had to face with every match was incredible,” Vendiola said. “A month before the season, their mother passed away due to cancer. She taught them to play tennis and played tennis in high school at a high level and gave lessons at the Bellingham Tennis Center. She was a major part of their lives. For them to excel one month after losing their mom and to perform at a high level so consistently speaks volumes to their commitment to tennis, their personality and their ability.”