Boys Tennis: Warriors ready to make noise in 2023

Brainerd boys tennis preview for 2023

Brainerd boys tennis captains Matthew Moraghan, left, and Karlton Anderson practice Monday, March 27, 2023, at the Brainerd High School gymnasium.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — With five returning players from a Central Lakes Conference champion team, Warriors head coach Ellen Fussy has a lot to be excited about in 2023.

The Warriors went 8-1 in CLC play and 16-9 overall with a semifinal loss to Elk River in the Section 7-2A Team Tournament.

No Warrior reached state last year, however, junior Matthew Moraghan is a returner and participated in state as a freshman.

Moraghan is a captain along with senior Karlton Anderson, who tallied a 17-5 doubles record last season.

“I’m looking forward to the leadership that Matthew Moraghan and Karlton Anderson will provide,” Fussy said. “They were leaders on the team last year as well. We have some returning players, so I think we have a veteran squad. We will start using one lineup and by the end of the season, you probably put five or six lineups together. So what it looks like right now is probably not what it’s going to look like at the end of the season.”


Moraghan went 12-8 last year at singles with one doubles win.

“He is a strong competitor and comes from a very strong tennis family,” Fussy said. “He competed at state as a ninth-grader. He lost out last year, but represented the team very well in section play. He is going to be a real leader.”

Anderson will most likely play singles this year where he went 2-2 last year.

Ellen Fussy
Ellen Fussy

“He’s going to make his mark in singles this season,” Fussy said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he does a good job at singles this year, because he is a great tennis player and a good athlete.”

Juniors Will Aadland and George Campbell are two returners to the lineup. Both played doubles last year. Campbell recorded five wins, while Aadland notched eight wins.

“They both played a little varsity as freshmen and sophomores which is nice,” Fussy said. “I’m hoping that they will come out strong because they both have been on the court a lot. It has yet to be determined if their role will be doubles or singles. We will just have to see how all the other players fit in as well.”

Sophomore Clark Haglin won 12 games as a doubles player last year.

“He played varsity as a freshman and as an eighth-grader,” Fussy said. “Clark is a real steady player with strong fundamentals. He is very smart and analyzes his opponents really well. He is a smart tennis player with a high tennis IQ. During the match, he knows how to switch gears depending on the type of player he is playing.”


The Warriors open their season Saturday, April 1, at the Becker Quad against Becker, Buffalo and Delano. Brainerd’s first home match is a triangular on April 13 against Section 7-2A champion Duluth East and CLC foe Alexandria.

“It’s going to be interesting to see our doubles combinations this year,” Fussy said. “We don’t have any of our returning combinations back. I do have some boys that have played a lot in the offseason, so I’m looking for some kids to step up who didn’t play a lot of varsity last year.”

Seniors Brayden Tollefson, Micah Halbersma and junior Brady Johnson could fit into the doubles lineup.

“I don’t want to talk it up too much, but I think we are going to be competitive in the Central Lakes Conference and in the section,” Fussy said. “I have some upperclassmen who I am anxious to see how they progressed in the offseason to see if they are going to slide into a double spot.”

Fussy is excited about the six freshmen she has on the roster as well. Owen Robertson and Sawyer Riffle are two freshmen who could crack the lineup.

“I have some kids who played a little varsity last year as eighth-graders and they will be ninth-graders this year,” Fussy said. “I’m hoping to slide them into a doubles spot this year. I’m looking for our upperclassmen to be leaders to those who don’t have much varsity experience to lead by example. Sometimes playing your first couple of varsity matches can make you a little nervous, but after a couple matches they are going to be seasoned veterans.”

Seniors Beau Lindley and Leif Rustad could work into the varsity lineup. Junior Gavin Jacobson will also work into the fold.

“I expect Gavin to make his way into the lineup and be a strong singles player for us,” Fussy said. “He played some varsity for us last year and I’m looking forward to seeing the progress he made.”


It’s the second year the Warriors are in Section 7-2A.

“You want to play better with each match and it’s interesting to see what teams have returning like we do,” Fussy said. “Our goal is to just play competitively. You can’t control who is across the net from you, but you control how you play and where you put the ball. We are in a competitive section and I’m looking for us to do well if not better this year because the boys got to see it last year. A lot of our boys put in time in the offseason which has me excited as well.”

Saturday, April 1: at Becker Quad, 7 a.m.
April 11: at St. Cloud, 4:30 p.m.
April 13: hosts Duluth East and Alexandria, 2:30 p.m.
April 18: hosts Fergus Falls, 4:30 p.m.
April 20: at Sartell Quad, 12:45 p.m.
April 22: at Elk River Quad, 10 a.m.
April 25: hosts Willmar, 4:30 p.m.
April 27: hosts St. Cloud, 4:30 p.m.
April 29: at Forest Lake Triangular, 9 a.m.
May 2: at Alexandria, 4:30 p.m.
May 4: at Fergus Falls, 4:30 p.m.
May 6: at Chisago Lakes Quad, 9 a.m.
May 8: at Aitkin, 4:15 p.m.
May 9: hosts Sartell, 4:30 p.m.
May 11: at Willmar, 4:30 p.m.
May 13: at Cambridge-Isanti Triangular, 9 a.m.
May 18, 23, 30: Section 7-2A Team Tournament
May 20, 25: Section 7-2A Individual Tournament

Seniors: Karlton Anderson, Brayden Tollefson, Leif Rustad, Beau Lindley, Micah Halbersma
Juniors: Will Aadland, Cole Belton, George Campbell, Lance Hastings, Gavin Jacobson, Matthew Moraghan, Brady Johnson
Sophomores: Silas Arndt, Clark Haglin
Freshmen: Eli Borg, Rylan Conkins, Matthew Simpson, Owen Robertson, Sawyer Riffle, Vincent Johnson-Ding

Boys Tennis
Head coach: Ellen Fussy, 4th-year boys head coach (4 years girls coach)
2022 record: CLC 8-1, Overall 16-9
Assistant coaches: Dan Egan, Jacob Mitchell, Tracy Kennedy
Captains: Karlton Anderson, Matthew Moraghan

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or Follow on Twitter at

Started at the Dispatch in June of 2019.
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