Five boys' tennis teams to watch
Freshman Austin Aten is expected to step in at No. 1 singles for coach Scott Davis. Freshman Kenneth Yun will be a major contributor, and juniors Ryan Smith and Sam Wampler, state qualifiers last year in doubles, are also back. The Maroons have a roster of 47 players, including junior Alejandro Macias, who took up the sport as a freshman. Seniors Clarence Lee and Helaman Montes-Lucas rank high on the singles ladder.
The Vikings return five athletes who played doubles a year ago and four from their singles lineup, including sophomore Tyler Ellis, in his second year at No. 1, and senior Ashish Patel, in his third year at No. 2. They'll also play doubles together. Other veterans are Matthew Kidwell, Love Shah and Yanis Mokraoui. Freshman Logan Nelson will step into the No. 6 slot in singles.
The Chargers have two returning varsity regulars, and each is moving up four spots in the singles ladder. Junior Akshay Krishnamani is at No. 1 and junior Daniel Lee is at No. 2. They'll join forces to form the school's No. 1 doubles duo. Coach Don Waybright, in his final season, had 34 prospects try out and kept 19. He is assisted by former Urbana head coach Gordon Kay.
Urbana Uni High
The Illineks had the sectional doubles champions last spring with freshmen Alex Mestre and Edo Roth, even though they had no official matches prior to the postseason. Tennis is in its fourth year as a club sport at Uni, and there are about 20 participants. Coach David Bergandine hasn't yet decided whether Mestre and Roth will compete in singles or doubles this spring.
St. Thomas More
There are 23 prospects in the Sabers' second-year program, including what coach Jim Tressler called "a good mix of youth and upperclass leadership." The top doubles team could be freshman Travis Tressler and junior Brian Fallon, both of whom have made a year-round commitment to the sport. Senior HakSoo Lee and sophomore Nathaniel Thomas, a transfer from Central, and junior Sean Monahan are other top players.