Duneland Athletic Conference
Players to watch: Mike Clemens, Sr.; Trey Moffett, Jr.
Outlook: Former Marquette boys and girls coach and Chesterton assistant Tom Bour takes over the program. Even though the lineup will change, Bour believes his team can improve.
Quote: "I think we're a better and more experienced team. I can see us winning twice as many matches as last year (five)." !~ Bour.
Players to watch: Boris Pavlovski, Jr.; Patrick Mudd, Jr.; Dominic Peretin, Jr.
Outlook: Fifth-year coach Chris Korzeniewski has his main players back from an impressive sectional championship, the fourth straight.
Quote: "We have a lot of depth and experience this season, and you can see it daily in practice and challenge matches." !~ Korzeniewski.
Players to watch: Todd Banvich, Sr.; Peter Boyd, Sr.; Lee Sayger, Sr.; Brad Staszewski, Sr.
Outlook: Volunteer summer workouts were well attended, and new coach Dave Cafmeyer is optimistic that this group can do well. The Indians last won a sectional crown in 2004.
Quote: "With the group of talented and athletic seniors we have, we show a lot of depth mid-level. We expect to be very strong at doubles. We will rotate some of the guys until we figure out the best lineup." !~ Cafmeyer.
Players to watch: Michael Varda, So.; Myles Droege, Jr.; Josh Cornwell, Jr.
Outlook: Long-time coach Bill Reed retired, and Nick Garstka has stepped up from assistant to head coach. Five varsity lettermen graduated from the sectional championship squad, so this year’s team is a little young.
Quote: "This is a much younger team with a lot less varsity experience. Several of last year’s JV players are getting the opportunity to step up and make their mark. We expect to be very competitive in the DAC.” !~ Garstka.
Players to watch: Nigel Jackson, Jr.; Ronnie Mayersky, Jr.; Alex Swierc, Sr.
Outlook: Jackson gets the unenviable task of replacing Leonard Mathews at No. 1 singles for the Pirates. It will be a rebuilding year for the young Pirates, who hope to rebound from a disappointing 2011 campaign.
Quote: "We will have some very solid play at two spots, and a little more inconsistency at the other three. At times we will struggle for that third point, depending on the competition. We need to win more of those close matches this year." !~ coach James Simon.
Players to watch: Josh Palmer, Sr.; Will Harber, Jr.; Nick Serbert, Jr.
Outlook: The Wolves lost four seniors to graduation, but return Palmer and Harber to take the reins at singles. Numbers are up from last year, with several beginners joining, so the outlook for the future is bright.
Quote: "We’re a little on the young side, but we’ll show steady improvement during the year. This is a hard working, athletic group that has the chance to do well.” !~ Tsugawa.
Players to watch: Patrick Derr, Sr.; Jeff McElfresh, Sr.
Outlook: Thanks to a strong off-season practice regimen, McElfresh moves from No. 1 doubles to No. 1 singles. Former No. 1 singles player Derr will probably play at No. 1 doubles. Coach Gary Hayes, now the basketball coach at Griffith, is in his fourth and final tennis season with the Indians.
Quote: "We came on at the end of the last two seasons, but I think will be stronger throughout the season this year." !~ Hayes
Players to watch: Ben Kalisch, Sr.; Marty Pochop, Sr.
Outlook: The Vikings arguably have two of the top singles players in the DAC. Kalisch and Pochop are just of five seniors who will start for the defending sectional champs.
Quote: "I'm really excited about the team. This team wants to go further." !~ coach Tim Shideler
Greater South Shore Conference
Players to watch: Spencer Hickey, Jr.; Donovan Hayes, Sr.; Gabriel Duran, Sr.
Outlook: The Warriors lost three seniors to graduation, which leaves a team lean on varsity experience.
Quote: "We will be doing a lot of mixing and matching at the beginning of the year as we figure out where everybody fits best. We’ll be a solid team that gets better as the year goes on and roles are better defined.” !~ coach Steve Tapia
Players to watch: Joshua Borst, Jr.; Jimmy Weisman, Sr.; Andrew Magiera, Sr.
Outlook: The current squad is small, with eight players out on average. Coach Crystal Ham is trying to get a middle school program up and running to feed the high school team.
Quote: "Being in the GSSC provides a good level of competition for our program. We need to get a few more boys out so we have a full varsity and JV squad.” !~ Ham
Players to watch: Tyler Ramirez, Jr.; Saul Rodriquez, So.; Matt Forsythe, Jr.
Outlook: Sal Guel, who worked as a volunteer at River Forest, takes over. Guel will be busy using his recruiting skills to plug the holes at the beginning of this season in an attempt to beef up both the varsity and JV.
Quote: "This group has a lot of experience at playing doubles, and that will be our strength this year. We need to do some work on our singles game, but I expect to improve steadily as the year progresses.” !~ Guel.
MICHIGAN CITY MARQUETTE
Players to watch: Quinn Porter, Sr.; Nate Shinn, So.
Outlook: Coach Jay Adams expects good things out of a group that returns all seven varsity players from a 14-4 squad. Porter will lead the team at No. 1 singles.
Quote: "We should be very competitive this year. I expect this to be a very good year for Marquette tennis.” !~ Adams.
Players to watch: Michael Bach, Sr.; Bryan Avalos, Sr.; Bryan Fleming, So.
Outlook: The Ingots return three varsity players from last year. They will lack experience at the beginning of the year, but should improve with time.
Quote: "Everyone has been playing together through the summer, learning their roles and what I expect out of them. Winning sectional is one goal -- advancing in the regional is another." !~ coach Beau Brummer.
Players to watch: Jack Hibbard, So.; Drew Heinold, Sr.; Matt Houghteling, Sr.; Lucas Jessen, Sr.
Outlook: The Bearcats, who went undefeated in conference and 12-4 overall, still are strong at the top of the lineup, but doubles will be more of a challenge this year.
Quote: "Our depth will be more of an issue this year than it was in past seasons. We need to work on our doubles game." !~ coach Mike Rosta.
Great Lakes Athletics Conference
Player to watch: James Murzyn, Jr.
Outlook: Murzyn will anchor a top spot, and provide much-needed leadership for a young squad.
Quote: "We want to play well and improve each match. These kids are working incredibly hard, both mentally and physically. They are a talented group, and I think we can do pretty well." !~- coach Donte Pryor.
Players to watch: Hector Calerone, Sr.; Brandon Brogdon, Jr.
Outlook: After graduating 15 players the last two seasons, the Gladiator cupboard is a little bare, with five players coming out on a regular basis to practice. Coaches and team members are recruiting offseason athletes and freshmen to help fill out the roster
Quote: "We have a good nucleus of players and some athletic underclassmen who want to learn. They have a great never-say-die attitude, and I think that's going to help a lot." !~ coach Meg Doughman.
Players to watch: Michael Rangel, Sr., Michael Hernandez, Sr.; Felipe Hernandez, So.
Outlook: The Governors return all of their varsity players from last season’s sectional championship team, so expectations are high.
Quote: "Our goals are to win the city tournament, win conference, and win sectional. We need to understand that we have a target on our back. It is easier to get there than stay there. This year we will see how good we are." !~ coach Chuck Perez.
Northwest Crossroads Conference
Players to watch: Jake McCoy, Sr., Anthony Zaleski, Jr., Michael Kinasieiwicz, So.
Outlook: All three singles players return, providing reason for optimism. Goals will be modest for a young team that is in a very tough conference.
Quote: "We'll focus on overall improvement this season while we try to expand our team depth. We'll show improvement as the season progresses." !~ coach Donn Gobbie.
Players to watch: Brett Tauber, So.; Jordan Long, Sr.; Ross Meyers, Sr.
Outlook: Tauber steps into the No. 1 singles spot. The Panthers have five players with varsity experience.
Quote: "We did better than we expected last season, and that gives us a lot of optimism for this year. We have more depth and less of a talent drop-off." !~ coach Tracy Sines
Players to watch: Aaron McFarland, Sr.; Jeff Michner, Jr.; Tyler Porter, Jr.
Outlook: Long-time coach Adam Baez retired, and has been replaced by Mickey Childers, a former Trojan tennis player and volunteer coach. Childers has three returning varsity players who can take the No. 1 slots at singles and doubles.
Quote: "This is going to be an interesting season for us. We have a real mixture of experience and youth. We’re in a tougher sectional (Munster) than in the past, so we are going to have to come together as a team to make a strong run.” !~ Childers.
Players to watch: Bobby Eberle, Sr.; Michael Bachmann, Sr.; Hunter McCollum, So.
Outlook: Crown Point alum Alex Tsikouris takes over, and he inherits three returning lettermen.
Quote: "We might start a little slow, but we hope to improve every match going forward." !~ Tsikouris.
Players to watch: Ryan Postma, Sr.; Anthony Zappetti, Jr.
Outlook: The Kougars could not have had a worse offseason. Luke Sanderson, one of the top ten players in the state, decided not to play high school tennis this season. In addition, two other varsity players decided not to return. Coach Dan Roberts will focus on techniques and building fundamentals.
Quote: "These guys are happy to be playing and excited to have the opportunity.” !~ Roberts.
Players to watch: Ben Roesel, So.; Jayson Savich, So.
Outlook: Led this year by youngsters Roesel and Savich, the hope is to build upon last year’s success.
Quote: "This group has learned how to play team tennis." !~ coach Dustin Hudak.
Players to watch: Jack Heiniger, Sr.; Michael Kitchell, Sr.; Colin Richter, Jr.
Outlook: The Mustangs are a senior-laden team, with five of the top seven players who went to the final four as sophomores. Watch for newcomer Arlo Detmer to make the program stronger and deeper.
Quote: "We want to be the team that represents Northwest Indiana tennis downstate, year after year. Five final fours in seven years – that’s where we want to be." !~ coach Steve Lopez.
Players to watch: Fabian Garcia, Jr.; Guillermo Cabrerra, Jr.
Outlook: The Cardinals return just one senior. A strong junior class has stepped up and performed well over the summer.
Quote: "We have a young and inexperienced group to build on. I expect that we will improve steadily as the season progresses.” !~ coach Dave Lane.
Players to watch: Jacob Spurgeon, Jr.; Devin Dewees, So.; Kyle Haun, Sr.
Outlook: With only one senior on the roster, the Bombers are a very young and inexperienced team.
Quote: "We have increased our numbers three years in a row, which is really helping our competitiveness." !~ coach Dan Hawthorne.
Player to watch: Symeon Colquitt, Sr., Robert Hogan, Jr.
Outlook: The Cougars are currently the only Gary school that will have a boys tennis team. Several boys from last year’s squad have returned.
Quote: "As we add players during the season, we will have different levels of experience." !~ coach Dora Hubbard.