Prep tennis star wins fourth state title
Dusty Boyer is not a highly efficient machine. He just performs like one.
Boyer won the Class AA state title in boys tennis as a freshman.
And as a sophomore.
And as a junior.
And Friday, he won yet again as a senior.
He became the first ever to win four state titles in boys tennis, and ever goes back to 1929 when the first singles championship was held for Minnesota high schools.
"It's pretty special," Boyer said. "No one's done it before, so it feels great."
Since he began playing tennis at age five, Dusty has been working his way up the food chain at an impressive rate. He only has lost once in high school in a match against former state champion Wyatt McCoy of Mounds View. It happened last year, but Dusty avenged the loss in the 2011 state finals. He has a record of 129-1 over the past four years.
"People who play Dusty realize they have nothing to lose," Dusty's tennis coach, Greg Patchin, said. "They just swing free."
According to his coach, Dusty has only lost a handful of matches in his entire career.
"He's never lost to anyone he shouldn't," Coach Patchin said.
He kept up this year's 30-0 winning streak when he defeated Scott Elsass in the final tennis match of his high school career. He won 6-4, 6-2 against Elsass at the University of Minnesota Baseline Tennis Center.
"When it comes to a complete high school tennis player doing all the right things," Coach Patchin told the Pioneer Press, "there's no doubt in my mind that Dusty is the best ever."
While winning one state championship is an impressive feat, winning four is, statistically, extremely unlikely. But he did it. He really, really did it.
"It's pretty satisfying," said Boyer, who plans to continue his tennis career at Nebraska. "I mean, all [the championships] felt kind of the same, and now it's over, and no more high school matches ever again. It feels good."
He played basketball and baseball when he was younger, but he eventually gave up those two sports to focus more on pursuing his tennis career.
"I started playing tennis when I was about five years old," Boyer said. "I realized I was good at it probably around the time when I quit baseball and basketball my eighth grade year. I got a lot better the next year and won state as a freshman."
He craved a fresh experience, and gave basketball another try for the first time since middle school this year.
"He didn't hit a tennis ball all winter—he only played basketball," Coach Patchin said. "So he's pretty fresh now. It gets him in great shape. He's some kind of special."
"It was a risk," David Boyer, Dusty's father, said. "He's never had an injury before, and he sprained his ankle in the second week of the [basketball] season. He recovered, though. He was the 11th man on the team when he started his high school season. By the last four weeks, he was starting. He started at shooting guard. He had a lot of fun."
It has been like that most of Dusty Boyer's high school career: A lot of fun.