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Nature Coast dedicated its season to Simon Toftegaard, who died last summer biking in Denmark.
Just when the Sharks needed inspiring, Toftegaard’s father arrived to watch the first day of the Class 2A, District 5 boys matches at Crystal River.
“We were trailing when he arrived,” Nature Coast coach Tom Brown said. “Everything turned around when he got there. It was really inspiring.”
The momentum shift lasted through Day 2 Tuesday, helping lift Nature Coast to the district title. The Sharks scored 14 points followed by Hernando (12), Crystal River (10), Santa Fe (5) and Belleview (0).
Nature Coast earned individual victories at Nos. 2, 3 and 4 singles. David Cross defeated Brendan Papp (Crystal River), 6-2, 6-4; Zenon Kouts defeated Adam Larson (Hernando) 6-1, 6-0; Andrew Lund defeated Alex Papp (Crystal River) 6-1, 6-0. And in doubles, the Sharks’ No. 2 team of Kouts/Lund defeated Hernando’s Matt Noto and Larson 6-2, 6-0.
Individually, Hernando senior Chris Nyholm won at No. 1 singles, then teamed with Jordan Williams to take No. 1 doubles, securing automatic state berths. He defeated Tyler Swanson (Crystal River) 6-1, 6-1 and teamed with Williams to defeat Nature Coast’s Tyler Schwesringhau and Cross 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4).
Girls: Crystal River claimed the 2A-5 title after winning both doubles matches Tuesday afternoon. That leaves a three-way tie between Nature Coast, Hernando and Belleview to be played Wednesday at Crystal River at 8:30 a.m.