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2017 Boys Tennis Capsules

Updated August 24, 2017 - 9:35 pm


League: Class 4A Sunset

Head coach: Brian Griffin, fourth season

2016 record: 5-8 (5-7 Northwest, fifth)

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top athletes: John David (Sr.), Chad Decker (Jr.), McKade Dudman (So.), Kru Kimoto (Fr.), Tanner Townsend (Fr.)

Outlook: The Aggies return eight lettermen after narrowly missing out on a playoff berth last year.

“We have some young talent joining some strong veterans,” Griffin said. “We look forward to the challenging new schedule this season, and I have confidence that we can play well against other teams this season. It’s going to be a fun season.”

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League: Class 4A Sunrise

Head coach: Bart Black, 20th season

2016 record: 4-8 (2-8 Southeast, fifth)

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top athletes: Garrison Stinnett (Sr.)

Outlook: Stinnett advanced to the second round of the Sunrise Region singles tournament last season and is expected to be the top player for the Wolves this season.

“We have a lot of returning players, but not much experience,” Black said. “We’re hoping to compete for a playoff spot after missing the playoffs last season.”

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League: Class 4A Sunset

Head coach: Craig Witcher, 15th season

2016 record: 14-2 (11-1 Southwest, second)

Returning lettermen: Thirteen

Top athletes: Lucas Hammond, Grant Rogers, Michael Connors, Matt Lamb, Cole Davidson, Max Wolfson, Oliver Filipovic

Outlook: The Gaels won’t be lacking talent or experience this season. Generally one of the stronger programs in Southern Nevada, they could well be in the championship hunt.

“It’s a strong team with 13 returning players,” Witcher said. “We have a lot of experience. We should be very competitive.”

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League: Class 4A Sunset

Head coach: Patrick Herbert, first season

2016 record: 3-10 (3-9 Southwest, sixth)

Returning lettermen: Four

Top athletes: Marshall Nelson (Jr.), Justin Balconi (Sr.), Mark Thuet (Jr.), John Lai (So.), Manny Dooley, Stone Perry

Outlook: Only four lettermen return for the Bengals who have some lineup spots to fill.

“This is a team with many freshmen in the mix,” Herbert said. “Graduation appeared to do some damage to the roster, but the energy from the new additions has been quite invigorating. Now the question is just where to position these talented young men to maximize their potential and to attain the best possible outcomes for the team.

“There is a tremendous balance of advanced, intermediate and beginning players. The team’s goals are to develop as young men and players. If they prepare consistently with attention to detail, the results will take care of themselves.”

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League: Class 3A Sunrise

Head coach: Rachelle Huxford, second season

2016 record: 13-2 (10-0 Sunrise, first)

Returning lettermen: Fourteen

Top athletes: Andre Pappas (Sr.), Breton Erlanger (So.), Boen Huxford (So.), Preston Jorgensen (So.)

Outlook: The Eagles return 14 lettermen from a team that lost a heart-breaking 10-8 decision to The Meadows in the Class 3A state final.

“Losing in the team finals competition last year has made our team hungry,” Rachelle Huxford said. “They want the title. They have worked very hard in the offseason to improve their skills. We didn’t lose any of our starters this year and are very excited for the upcoming season.”

Huxford and Jorgensen teamed to finish second in the Class 3A state doubles tournament, and Pappas finished fourth in singles at state. Erlanger also played in the state singles tourney.

“As for the individual singles and doubles players, they each want to improve their standings,” Rachelle Huxford said. “ I am very proud of this team and the hard work they have put in.”

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League: Class 3A Sunset

Head coach: Joann Fukuma, first season

2016 record: 1-12 (1-11 Sunset, fifth)

Returning lettermen: Zero

Top athletes: Marquel Antwine (Fr.), Abraham Lozano (Fr.)

Outlook: The Desert Shields will have a new look this year with a new coach and no returning lettermen.

The team hopes to improve during the season.

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League: Class 4A Sunset

Head coach: Clarence Chun, 12th season

2016 record: 15-2 (11-1 Southwest, first)

Returning lettermen: Seventeen

Top athletes: Michael Pasimio (Sr.), Simran Shah (Jr.), Teo Tabar (Sr.), Max Foels (Jr.), Justin Ong (Sr.), Dustin Mader (Jr.), Mark Bernales (So.), Aria Khiabani (Jr.)

Outlook: The Chargers were far more than just competitive in their return to Class 4A last season.

Pasimio, the runner-up in last year’s state singles tournament, and Shah, a member of the state runner-up doubles team, are among 17 returnees for Clark.

“They’re dedicated and hard-working with a great team spirit,” Chun said. “Our goal is to make the playoffs.”

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League: Class 3A Sunrise

Head coach: Will Schultz, second season

2016 record: 0-10 (0-10 Sunrise, sixth)

Returning lettermen: Two

Top athletes: Giovani Lacala (Sr.), Bradley Walton (Jr.)

Outlook: Lacala, a second-team All-Sunrise League selection, and Walton are the only two returning lettermen for the Dragons. The team hopes to build throughout the year.

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League: Class 4A Sunset

Head coach: Rick Jacoby, second season

2016 record: 2-15 (0-12 Southwest, seventh)

Returning lettermen: Two

Top athletes: Jovan Lubura (Sr.), Dylan Olivier (Sr.), Arjay Angus (Fr.)

Outlook: The Trailblazers will have a new look this season after losing 12 players to graduation.

Cesar Castro, who placed third in the Class 4A state boys singles tournament last year, was among the graduates.

Lubura advanced to the second round of the Sunset Region doubles tournament last season and is one of two returnees for Durango.

“This will be a rebuilding year,” Jacoby said. “Three freshmen are showing lots of promise.”

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League: Class 4A Sunrise

Head coach: Jesse Medellin, 20th season

2016 record: 2-13 (2-6 Northeast, fourth)

Returning lettermen: Three

Top athletes: Miguel Rodriguez (Jr.), Tanner Howard (Jr.), Christian Younger (Jr.)

Outlook: Only three lettermen return for the Sundevils.

“We are in a rebuilding swing with our boys program,” Medellin said. “We will lean on the singles play of Miguel Rodriguez, Tanner Howard and Christian Younger this year. We have worked hard this summer and look to improve over the course of the season.”

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League: Class 4A Sunset

Head coach: Jeff Foley, seventh season

2016 record: 12-6 (9-3 Northwest, third)

Returning lettermen: Seven

Top athletes: Aaron Bailey (Sr.), Maxwell Blum (Jr.), Micheal Markantonis (Sr.), Ryan Brooks (Sr.), Jonah Grepke (Sr.)

Outlook: The Crusaders have seven lettermen back from last year’s squad and got a big boost with the addition of Bailey, the 2015 Division I state singles runner-up.

Bailey will play No. 1 singles, moving Blum (36-10 last season), a first-team all-league selection, to No. 2 singles.

Markantonis and Brooks (both second-team all-league selections) and Grepke are in the hunt for the No. 3 singles spot.

The Crusaders have some work to do in filling doubles slots left open by graduation, but Foley “expects intense competition for those spots from both the returning cast and several eighth graders that were part of the successful middle school team.

“The new scheduling format makes every match critical,” added Foley, who has aspirations of qualifying for the postseason again.

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League: Class 4A Sunrise

Head coach: Mark Richards, 13th season

2016 record: 9-6 (6-4 Southeast, third)

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top athletes: Andrew Hauck (Sr.)

Outlook: Hauck advanced to the Sunrise Region semifinals in doubles last season and leads a list of eight returning lettermen for a young Falcons team.

“With only two seniors, we will rely heavily on the underclassmen to carry the load,” Richards said. “We plan to be competitive in league, and our goal, as always, will be to qualify for regionals as a team.”

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League: Class 4A Sunset

Head coach: Alonso Mendoza, third season

2016 record: 6-9 (5-7 Northwest, fourth)

Top athletes: Erik Barranca (Sr.)

Outlook: The Longhorns are hoping to contend for a postseason berth again this season.

“(We emphasize) sportsmanship and comradery,” Mendoza said. “We hope to make the playoffs.”

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League: Class 4A Sunrise

Head coach: Kih Gourrier, sixth season

2016 record: 5-8 (4-6 Southeast, fourth)

Returning lettermen: Two

Top athletes: Kevin Blomquist (Sr.)

Outlook: Blomquist, a first-team All-Sunrise Region honoree last season, is one of only two returning lettermen for the Patriots, who hope to show improvement throughout the season.

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League: Class 3A Sunset

Head coach: Frideric Prandecki, fifth season

2016 record: 18-1 (12-0 Sunset, first)

Top athletes: Ahmed Nadeem-Tariq (Sr.), Peyton Sachs (Sr.), Daniel Pereira (Sr.), Ryan Chang (Sr.), Brian Capp (Sr.)

Outlook: After finishing as the Class 3A state runner-up in 2014 and 2015, the Mustangs broke through last season to capture their first state title.

Five seniors who helped the team to the title are back and hoping to repeat.

“We are hoping to go all the way,” Prandecki said.

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League: Class 3A Sunset

Head coach: Andy Addison, first season

2016 record: 6-7 (6-6 Sunset, fourth)

Returning lettermen: Four

Top athletes: Akil West, Eurico Rodriguez-Cardenas, Andres Cervantes

Outlook: The Rattlers qualified for the playoffs last year and are hoping to continue to improve.

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League: Class 4A Northwest

Head coach: Richard Coop, first season

2016 record: 18-0 (12-0 Northwest, first)

Returning lettermen: Fourteen

Top athletes: Michael Safbom (Jr.), Jack Kostrinsky (So.), Axel Boticelli (So.), Jaden Atkin (Sr.), Denim Richardson (So.), Haden Huckfeldt (Jr.)

Outlook: Coop takes over a team that has advanced to the state final each of the last five seasons and has won two of the last three state crowns.

Fourteen lettermen are back from last year’s team, making the Panthers one of the favorites again this year.

“Palo Verde is excited about the upcoming season,” Coop said. “We are looking forward to the new challenge of the 2017 season and are taking it one match at at time.”

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League: Class 4A Northeast

Head coach: Kenneth Michaud, second season

2016 record: 12-4 (7-1 Northeast, first)

Returning lettermen: Four

Top athletes: Tanner Albright (Jr.), Ojas Sali (Sr.), Ethan Schwartz (Sr.), Caleb Lewis (Fr.)

Outlook: The Rams had their best season in recent memory last year, winning a league title for the first time since 1999. In the four years prior, the Rams won a total of 11 matches, one fewer than they won last year.

Eight seniors from that squad have graduated, and only two starters return.

Sali was a first-team All-Sunrise Region selection last year, and should be among the team’s leaders along with Albright, who went 22-13 as a freshman and did not play last year.

“This year’s team is learning to become a team as there are several new players,” Michaud said. “I believe we will get better as the season progresses and look to be in the mix for a playoff spot.”

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League: Class 4A Sunset

Head coach: Blair Ragsdale, second season

2016 record: 6-8 (5-7 Southwest, fourth)

Returning lettermen: Five

Top athletes: Tyler Sunstrum (Sr.), Aleksander Bolta (So.), Amir Boulakhras (Sr.), Alex Chavira (Jr.)

Outlook: Bolta was the team’s No. 3 singles player last year, and Sunstrum and Boulakhras return after teaming in doubles in the Sunset Region tournament.

“After losing our top two players from last year, we are counting on good seasons from Tyler Sunstrum, Aleksander Bolta, Alex Chavira and Amir Boulakhras to be competitive,” Ragsdale said. “Baseball players James Schneider and Anthony Chapman, as well as returners Ryan Watson and Skyler John round out the team.

“We expect to be fighting for one of the last playoff spots at the end of the season.”

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League: Class 4A Sunrise

Head coach: Matthew Phillips, fifth season

2016 record: 0-11 (0-10 Southeast, sixth)

Returning lettermen: Ten

Outlook: The Skyhawks return 10 lettermen this season and are hoping to show improvement.

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League: Class 4A Sunset

Head coach: Robert Bloom, 14th season

2016 record: 4-8 (4-8 Southwest, fifth)

Returning lettermen: Four

Top athletes: Vangeli Zimmerman (Jr.), Kyle Moser (Sr.), Jared Patterson (Sr.), Gerardo Mendoza, Illan Gonazlez

Outlook: Zimmerman, who played No. 2 singles last year and won better than 80 percent of his matches, likely will be the team’s top player this year. He leads a group of four returning lettermen for the Grizzlies.

“He has a 50-50 chance of making the state tournament,” Bloom said. “He’s a very strong mental player. He grew a couple of inches in the last six months, which might help.”

Moser was part of a successful No. 1 doubles team last year that was the No. 5 seed in the Sunset Region tournament.

The Grizzlies narrowly missed out on a postseason berth as a team but are hoping their leadership this season helps them get into the playoffs.

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League: Class 4A Northeast

Head coach: Matt Porter, 13th season

2016 record: 3-8 (3-5 Northeast, third)

Returning lettermen: One

Top athletes: Nick Jianu (Jr.)

Outlook: The Vikings return just one letterman from last year’s squad.

“We are young and inexperienced and hope to improve every day,” Porter said.

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League: Class 3A Sunrise

Head coach: Robert Nelson, first season

2016 record: 11-4 (7-3 Sunrise, second)

Returning lettermen: Five

Top athletes: Kameron Cox, Logan Hendrick, David Vogal

Outlook: The Bulldogs have some work to do with only five lettermen back from a team that finished second in the Sunrise League.

“We have a lot of new young faces this year,” Nelson said. “We have put in work over the summer to get them ready to go. It should be interesting to see if the work paid off.”

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League: Class 3A Sunset

Head coach: Derek Thomas, second season

2016 record: 0-12 (0-12 Sunset, sixth)

Returning lettermen: Two

Top athletes: Rua Elmore (So.), Kieran Armstrong (So.)

Outlook: The Warriors seemingly always struggle with quantity of players, but certainly not with quality.

Western didn’t have the requisite six players for team competition last year, but had one of the best players in the state in Rua Elmore, whose lone loss last season came in the Class 3A state singles final.

Armstrong also returns for Western.

“We are still trying to fill out the roster, but we expect those two to be very strong this season as a one-two punch,” Thomas said. “I would expect every 3A player thinking about reaching the state singles final to be having Rua in the back of their mind.”

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