Photos by Jeremy Mayo/River NewsLakeland’s Tony Holmes (pictured) and Jack Garcia won the Great Northern Conference meet at No. 1 doubles on Friday, May 18, at Antigo High School.
Photos by Jeremy Mayo/River News

Lakeland’s Tony Holmes (pictured) and Jack Garcia won the Great Northern Conference meet at No. 1 doubles on Friday, May 18, at Antigo High School.
Since being put together early this season the Lakeland Union High School boys' doubles tandem of Jack Garcia and Tony Holmes has run through the competition in the Great Northern Conference.

The No. 1 doubles duo won all eight of its matches in conference dual meets and had an opportunity to become conference champions at the GNC meet on Friday at Antigo High School.

Garcia and Holmes first had to go through the Pacelli tandem of Mathias Kroening and Charlie Kulick and it turned out to be a three-set affair. The Thunderbird pairing came out on top, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 before moving on to face Jared Haug and Conner Young of Rhinelander in the finals.

This time around, Garcia and Holmes would only need two sets - although the third was a tiebreaker - to win 6-2, 7-6 to win a conference championship, while also being named the GNC's Doubles Players of the Year. They become the first Lakeland team to accomplish such a feat since Garcia's older brother Nick and Levi Herrick did so in 2015.

"No. 1 doubles proved to be the highlight of the tournament," LUHS head coach Ted Dasler said. "A determined Pacelli team fought them all the way in a three setter. Afterward I warned that they'd need to raise their game if they were to be successful. They did. Still a close match, they prevailed."

Aaron Petersen entered the tournament seeded third at No. 1 singles, but the day didn't turn out as he would have hoped.

Petersen fell to Medford's Alec Shear and then to Tanner Stueck of Antigo - a player he beat the day before in a dual meet - in the third place match.

"Aaron Petersen was seeded third and had some good moments, but couldn't sustain it losing in three sets in the first match and a close second match," Dasler said.

Zach Kane also placed fourth in No. 3 singles, while Matt Holmes was unable to compete due to a previous engagement.

Holmes was the top player in the conference at No. 2 singles during the regular season, going 6-2.

Josh Kakuschke and Alex Tucker placed fourth at No. 3 doubles for Lakeland, which finished fourth in the team standings with 64 points.

Rhinelander won the tournament and its fifth GNC title in a row and seventh in the last eight years. Hodag Markus Johnson was named GNC Singles Player of the Year.

Lakeland 5, Antigo 2

Lakeland played at Antigo the day prior to the GNC meet to finish its dual meet slate.

The Thunderbirds completed the season sweep of the Red Robins, winning 5-2.

Petersen topped Stueck, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 at No. 1 singles. Matt Holmes won at No. 2 singles, 6-1, 6-3, while Kane defeated Simon McPhail at No. 3 singles, 6-0, 6-2.

Garcia and Holmes finished the GNC season undefeated after a 6-4, 6-0 win at No. 1 doubles. Tucker and Kakuschke beat Tyler Aickman and Anthony Lenzner at No. 3 doubles, 6-0, 6-3.

Lakeland competed in the WIAA sub-sectional on Monday with hopes of advancing to the sectional meet tomorrow at Kohler Sports Center at 8:45 a.m.

Nick Sabato may be reached at or via Twitter@NickSabatoLT.