In a program as decorated as Dubuque Wahlert boys tennis, Charlie Fair will undoubtedly go down as one of the best to ever take court for the Golden Eagles.
And that’s with missing his junior season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fair took over the No. 3 singles position as a freshman and never looked back, focused on the future and getting better every day. The senior closed his career with multiple city titles, state medals and best of all, a team state championship.
Fair leads the second annual TH all-area boys tennis team of the area’s top six players, designed as a traditional singles tennis lineup with honorable mentions.
No. 1 Charlie Fair (Wahlert)
While the TH all-area tennis teams are only in their second year, Fair is now a back-to-back No. 1 selection. Fair held a stellar 12-3 record at No. 1 this season and closed his career with two more trips to state. In doubles, he joined with Jack Freiburger to finish fourth, then keyed the Eagles in a third-place finish as a team. Fair played No. 3 and helped the program win an Iowa boys record 10th state championship as a freshman, and then as a sophomore won a singles district championship, placed fourth at the state singles tournament and helped Wahlert win a city title. He also teamed with Wahlert’s Caroline Hutchinson to place third at the state co-ed doubles tournament this week. Fair capped a decorated career on a high note. He plans to attend the University of Iowa, but won’t play at the collegiate level.
No. 2 Kareem Kassas (Hempstead)
Playing lower in the lineup as a sophomore, Kassas didn’t allow the lost season to stunt his growth. The senior worked hard and took on the No. 1 position for the Mustangs this spring with vigor, posting an impressive 8-4 mark and helping lead the Mustangs to the brink of qualifying for the state tournament as a team, losing a substate final to Iowa City West. He closed his career with a trip to the state doubles tournament with Jake Althaus. Kassas will continue his career at Loras College.
No. 3 Jake Althaus (Hempstead)
Only a sophomore, Althaus was a machine for the Mustangs at No. 2 singles this season. He teamed with Kassas and reached his first state tournament in doubles, but after holding a 9-3 record this spring in singles and the graduation of Kassas, there is a mighty bit of potential in Althaus as he should become the No. 1 next season. Althaus beat Wahlert’s Jack Freiburger, 6-4, 2-6, 10-8 this season in a great battle, and that could be a future matchup of No. 1’s next year.
No. 4 Jack Freiburger (Wahlert)
The biggest surprise of the season, Freiburger rose through the ranks and became one of Wahlert’s strongest players on the way to a third-place state finish. Freiburger also earned a fourth-place medal at state doubles with Charlie Fair. Freiburger — whose sister, Anna, formally played No. 1 for the Wahlert girls — racked up a 10-4 record in singles this spring. He also teamed with Wahlert’s Claire Walker at the state co-ed doubles tournament. After being near the bottom of the JV roster as a freshman, Freiburger had a true breakout junior season with high hopes for a big senior campaign.
No. 5 Julian Nemmers (Senior)
A pivotal player for the Rams since his freshman year, Nemmers was given a tough task to step up to the No. 1 role in his senior season. While he only notched two wins, it can be lost sometimes how important that position is even in defeat to the team aspect. Other younger players filled spots and earned wins for the Rams, who came one win shy of reaching the state team tournament. Nemmers proved to be a strong leader, and also competed at the state co-ed doubles tournament alongside fellow Ram Maddy Sampson-Brown.
No. 6 Ricky Walker (Wahlert)
Another standout senior during a terrific season for the Eagles, Walker played the No. 3 position and came up big. Walker boasted an 11-3 record in singles this spring and in a strong top-to-bottom lineup, stood out in aiding the program to a third-place state finish. Walker also flexed his leadership muscle along with Charlie Fair in bringing the younger players along this season to create and earn their success.
Colin Nelson (Hempstead), Harry Tompkins (Senior), Will Lawless (Senior), Roan Martineau (Wahlert), Sam Timp (Wahlert), Michael Kemp (Western Dubuque), Cayle Hermsen (WD), Daniel Coyle (Maquoketa).