116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Brady Horstmann can now say has accomplished it all in his prep tennis career.
However, adding the final piece to his prep resume didn’t come easy.
The Cedar Rapids Xavier senior overcame a rough first set in the Class 1A singles final Wednesday against Decorah’s Caden Branum to claim the state title with a 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) victory at the Black Hawk Tennis Center in Waterloo.
Horstmann, who still has the state team tournament ahead of him next week, has now won a singles, doubles and team championship in his career. He was on the Saints title teams in 2019 and 2021 and won the doubles title last year with Matthew Schmit.
“It’s just an amazing feeling,” he said. “Coming in as a freshman a few years ago, I had high hopes and expectations and dreams do come true. Ever since I was a young child I always wanted to become a state singles champion and I was able to do that today.”
The Saints also had the doubles champions again as seniors Declan Coe and Hugh Courter survived a three-set marathon win in the semifinals, then went on to down the brother due of Caleb and Jack Briggs of Pella, 7-5, 6-4.
Xavier Coach Jim Potts was proud of the way his players battled throughout the two-day meet.
“These last two days were a test, especially for Brady,” Potts said. “Our doubles team had to play four great matches as well. We really didn’t have anything handed to us. It was a tough two days. When they had to dig down, they did it.”
The title quest for Horstmann almost ended in the first round where he had to go three sets to down Grinnell’s Calvin Jaworski.
“I played him in the substate,” Horstmann said. “He knew how to play me and made adjustments so I had to work hard to get the win.”
After a quick semifinal win, the final against Branum was a grind. Horstmann simply put things into focus after losing the first set.
“For me I knew this was going to be the last time I was ever going to play in an individual state meet,” he said. “I just decided to take it one point at a time. I wasn’t concerned about winning games or sets. I just played every point and that was what got me through the second and third sets.”
Coe and Courter were pushed to three sets by Denison-Schleswig’s Colin Reis and Harrison Dahm in the semifinal, winning 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 6-4.
“That match was really intense,” Coe said. “It was a really tough match and I was a little worried we might be tired in the final, but we found a way to get the (win).”
Courter called the semifinal win, “nuts.”
“Honestly, that semifinal was one of the toughest matches I have ever played,” he said. “I think it got us ready to compete in the finals. It just seemed like we built on that semifinal win in the final. It was amazing to get this win in my senior year.”