Scouting Local Illinois Boys Tennis Teams

Scouting Local Illinois Boys Tennis Teams

2014-04-03T19:00:00Z 2014-04-04T00:19:07Z Scouting Local Illinois Boys Tennis Teams nwitimes.com
April 03, 2014 7:00 pm

CRETE-MONEE

Players to watch: Chris Ghezzi, Sr.; Rudy Juarez, Sr.; Trevor Nickerson, Sr.; Bryce Stluka, Sr.

Outlook: The senior-dominated Warriors are looking for a solid season with Ghezzi at No. 1 singles, while Jurarez and Nickerson are penciled in at No. 1 doubles. Newcomer Stluka is very good and should shine at No. 2 singles in his first year on the squad. All are excellent students. The Warriors also have about 30 kids in the program.

Coach's Quote: “These kids are no slouches. They’re definitely scholars, all round good ones. The seniors have been a huge help to the new kids. … It’s fun to see so many new people interested in tennis. It’s great for the program.” -- Kelly Place

HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR

Players to watch: Jeremy Miller, Sr.; Jacob Miguest, Sr.; Jesse Myles, Jr.; Devohn Hall, So.; Idan Rafalovitz, Sr.; Griffin Wright, Jr.

Outlook: Four of the top six players return from last year for H-F led by Miller, who qualified for state at No. 1 singles and won a couple matches. Coach Michael Sacks doesn’t have his lineup set yet, but he said six guys have separated themselves from the rest of the team based on their ability. H-F is one of the favorites in the SouthWest Surburban Conference and will be in a three-way race for the sectional crown with Marian Catholic and Andrew.

Coach's Quote: “A lot will be determined on whose No. 2 doubles come through and who makes it to state. Marian Catholic has a slight edge at one singles.” -- Sacks

ILLIANA CHRISTIAN

Players to watch: Kent Pitsenberger, Sr.; Ben VanTil, Sr.; James Zandstra, So.; Jason Eberly, Fr.

Outlook: Illiana returns three varsity players from last year’s squad for first-year coach Nick Blink, who takes over for Neil Zandstra. Pitsenberger is back at No. 1 singles, and Zandstra is solid at No. 2. The promising freshman Eberly will team with VanTil at No. 1 doubles.

Coach's Quote: “We’re really well rounded. All of our players are pretty good, and we have a good mix of youth and experience.” -- Blink

MARIAN CATHOLIC

Players to watch: Kyle Scheffers, Sr.; Patrick Murday, Sr.; Paul Lamb, Sr.; Sam Roche, Sr.; Kevin Kwok, Sr.; Chuck Helsel, Sr.

Outlook: A veteran team will look to improve on its 19-7 mark from a year ago led by Scheffers and Murday. The Spartans finished third in the ESCC and at sectional and had three state qualifiers. Scheffers returns to defend his conference and sectional crowns at No. 1 singles.

Coach's Quote: “We are looking to be stronger this year led by a solid senior squad.” -- Scott Bodnar

MOUNT CARMEL

Players to watch: Alberto Covarrubias, Sr.; Robert Rajic, Jr.; Alex Ceballos, Jr.

Outlook: The Caravan are a much more experienced team than the past few years. They will be looking to finish up top with the Catholic League tennis powers Loyola and St. Ignatius.

Coach's Quote: “I am excited and looking forward to spring weather so we can get a practice in.” -- Antonio Mota

THORNTON FRACTIONAL

Players to watch: Manny Cruz, Jr.; Eddie Pumphrey, Jr.; Mauro Puedla, Sr.; Maucio Hernandez, Sr.

Outlook: Coach Clinton Scott has a good nucleus to build around with top singles players Cruz and Pumphrey, who are developing nicely as juniors. Puedla and Hernandez are at No. 1 doubles. TF combined has 9 players on varsity and 15-16 on the sophomore team, made up of freshmen and sophomores.

Coach's Quote: “We should have a successful season, and it’s a steady progress. We’ve got an abundance of players from South on the freshman level.” -- Clinton Scott

THORNTON TOWNSHIP

Players to watch: Luis Seron, Sr., Saul Sandoval, Sr.; Gerardo Diaz, Sr.; Ricarrdo Torres, Jr.; Devon Jefferson, Jr.

Outlook: The numbers are really good for Thornton, which has 22 players total on the varsity and sophomore teams. Seniors Seron, Sandoval and Diaz will man the singles positions, while Torres and Jefferson look strong at No. 1 doubles.

Coach's Quote: “I’m excited, and the kids are very excited. They’re eager to play, and they want to have a better season than they did last year.” -- Imani James

-- Compiled by Christopher Breach

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