Hegstrom relaxes, helps GJ top Fruita

Grand Junction’s Tate Hegstrom returns a shot Thursday during his 6-1, 6-3 victory over Fruita’s Tucker Fortson at No. 3 singles.

Tate Hegstrom was beginning to lose his focus and get frustrated when he remembered a line from a movie that helped him out.

The Grand Junction High School junior was playing his first varsity singles match Thursday in the Tigers’ season-opening dual against Fruita Monument.

“There was definitely a lot of jitters,” Hegstrom said. “I’ve been playing doubles the last couple years. Out there by myself, it’s a completely different game. The second set I kind of let my energy drop down. I realized I had to pull it out. I took a couple deep breaths and said ‘Goosefraba,’ from ‘Anger Management.’ It calmed me down a little bit.”

Hegstrom refocused and defeated Fruita Monument’s Tucker Fortson 6-1, 6-3 at No. 3 singles in the Tigers’ 7-0 victory over Fruita Monument at Grand Junction High School.

“After the first set, I realized where I was,” Hegstrom said. “I guess I psyched myself out, because the mental game is about 90 percent. Once you let that go, it’s hard to regain.

“Coach (Carol Elliott) told me I was thinking too much and I just need to relax. She told me to say one word that came to mind to help me, so I thought of Goosefraba.”

The term ‘Goosefraba’ was used by a psychologist character in the movie “Anger Management” attempting to relax another character.

Hegstrom is playing the same position on the team that his older brother, Parker, played for the Tigers last season before graduating. Parker reached the state tournament without a loss and took third at state.

“(Tate) decided not to play lacrosse last spring and work on his (tennis) game,” Elliott said. “He worked on getting used to being out there without a partner and also competing for a team, because there is a lot more added pressure when you’re out there playing for a team. That pressure’s good, knowing you’re not doing it for yourself and doing it for a team, makes you want it more.”

Hegstrom was motivated not only to play singles, but to be as successful, if not more so, than his brother.

“My brother did really well last year,” Tate said. “I got to live up to his name and hopefully make my own name. You can’t let your older brother outshine you.”

Grand Junction’s No. 1 singles player, Spencer Weinberg, began his season with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Vinny Castellini and Luke Ledebur defeated Matt Harris 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 singles.

The Tigers’ No. 2 doubles team dropped a set, but were able to bounce back and complete the sweep.


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