Aten, Maroons cap 'special year'

Aten, Maroons cap 'special year'

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — As he relaxed and reflected at home Friday night, Champaign Central boys’ tennis coach Scott Davis realized what a special group of players he had this season, starting with senior Austin Aten.

“He finished in the top 32 (in singles) all four years,” Davis said. “It has to rank up there as one of the best careers in C-U tennis history.”

After winning twice on the first day of the state finals, Aten followed up with two more wins Friday, securing a top 20 placement in his final prep season.

“There are amazing players throughout the Chicagoland area, and for him to go as far as he did is something,” Davis said. “Austin went two matches further than he had ever gone. Finishing in the top 20 in singles is quite an accomplishment.”

Aten completed his season with a 35-3 record.

The Maroons’ doubles duo of Michael Yoo and Gabe Mitchell, who started with two wins Thursday, went 1-1 on the final day. They wound up among the top 24 in a draw of 128 qualifiers and were 24-5 for the season.

“Gabe and Michael got a taste of it last year when they won three matches in the back draw,” Davis said. “That experience gave them the confidence they could play with the best.

“It also gave them the determination to try and do even better this year, and they did.”

Overall, Central’s state entries ended 8-8.

“I was fortunate to be surrounded by not only good players but even better people,” Davis said. “It truly was a special year.”

Entering Saturday’s final round, Central stands in a two-way tie for 16th place with Normal University High. Each school has 12 points and no remaining competitors.

The other area entry that survived until the second day, Centennial’s doubles entry of Andrew Scaggs and Patrick Kearney, dropped a 6-4, 6-4 decision to Greg Murray and Rohan Chinwalla of Hinsdale South. The Charger pair ended with a 3-2 state record.