The Boise tennis team has extra inspiration for the 5A state tournament.
Members of the team sported “Play For Patrick” T-shirts during Friday’s action in Boise, remembering Patrick Dwyer, who passed away Nov. 10, less than a month after his 18th birthday.
He was a senior, part of one of the top boys doubles pairings in the state. His loss left a hole on the team, but one the Braves have filled with a camaraderie that has resulted in success of which he’d be proud.
“It’s been weird without him. ... I know we have quite a few people that think about him a lot,” coach Reid Spain-Strombom said.
Dwyer paired up with Eric Lim to take third place at state last year. Lim, a junior, is teamed up with senior Grant Hilde this spring, and they won the District Three title and twice Friday to earn a spot in Saturday’s semifinals.
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“I think it was tough at the beginning of the season for Eric, but he made it clear he was willing to play doubles again. He wanted to play with Grant,” Spain-Strombom said.
The backs of the shirts the Braves sport read, “In loving memory: Patrick Dwyer.” Some players have worn them all season, including the boys doubles team. The Braves played well in them Friday, with Spencer Smith and Nick Byrne qualifying for the semifinals in boys singles, along with the boys doubles team, both mixed doubles teams and the girls doubles team.
“It was a great day,” Spain-Strombom said.
WEATHER CREATES WILD DAY
Friday’s rainfall caused the tournaments to move inside, and attempt to play the semifinals Friday, when they initially were scheduled for Saturday morning. Though the consolation and in-progress matches were completed indoors, the semifinals were pushed back to Saturday morning.