St. Johnsbury captures historic state title

Top-seeded Burlington struck first when No. 1 singles player Hugo Crainich rallied for a third-set matchbreak victory to kick off Wednesday’s Division I high school boys tennis championship at Leddy Park.

Crainich’s gutsy win foreshadowed what was unfolding between BHS and St. Johnsbury: Matchbreakers galore.

Who emerged victorious? The team playing in its first title match.

Second-seeded St. Johnsbury claimed matchbreak wins at No. 1 doubles and No. 2 and No. 3 singles to seize control and snare a 5-2 victory over the Seahorses for its breakthrough state crown.

Before Wednesday, St. Johnsbury had never won a tennis title, boys or girls, in school history.

“It’s pretty incredible,” said eighth-year SJA coach Dan Bosco. “Once I started watching them play, I believed in them and never really doubted them. Every match, I believed we were going to win.”

[Editor’s note: See below story for full match results].

Agustin Gil’s straight-sets victory at No. 4 singles sealed the Hilltoppers’ triumph with a 4-1 edge. Teammates rushed to the court in celebration.

“We are all friends. We are really close,” said Gil, who was part of SJA’s doubles state-title team in the individual tournament last month. “I was really nervous, but I said, ‘I have to win for my team.’ That motivated me. “

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