PLAYERS TO KNOW

Riley Burridge, Fr., Dawson School: A newcomer for the Mustangs that will be a force as a ninth-grader.

Mathew Chavez, Sr., Niwot: Advanced to the quarterfinals at No. 2 singles last year.

Brett Finan, So., Peak to Peak: A semifinalist at No. 1 singles, the Pumas sophomore is eager for a second run in Pueblo.

Henry Hawk, Jr., Boulder: Defending champ at No. 2 singles played a lot of tennis this summer and heads up a potent 1-2-3 punch for the Panthers.

Connor Larson, Jr., Dawson School: Has played both No. 1 and No. 2 singles and should benefit from the new regional scene.

Boulder junior Kap Smith returns to defend the No. 1 singles state championship he won last fall.
Boulder junior Kap Smith returns to defend the No. 1 singles state championship he won last fall. (David R. Jennings / Staff Photographer)

Simon Lupo, Sr., Broomfield: A disappointing end to his season has the Eagles senior eager to make amends.

Tom Melville, Jr., Fairview: Finished third last season at No. 2 singles and head up an always powerful Knights team.

Ethan Schact, Jr., Fairview: Bowed out to his Boulder rival in the semifinals at No. 3 singles last season.

Kap Smith, Jr., Boulder: The defending champ is a year older and wiser. He will enter the season as the odds on favorite to repeat.

Spencer Wolff, Sr., Broomfield: The Eagles senior has high hopes for himself and his team this fall.

 

POSTSEASON INFORMATION


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5A Regionals — Will be determined by order of finish in league play. (Note: The top two teams in the Front Range League - including Boulder, Broomfield, Fairview, Legacy, Monarch — will be eligible to host or designate host sites for regional tournaments.)

4A Region 4 — Local teams: Dawson School, Silver Creek. Date/location: TBD at Greeley Central.

4A Region 5 — Local teams: Centaurus, Erie, Frederick, Longmont, Niwot, Peak to Peak, Prospect Ridge, Skyline. Date/location: TBD at Niwot.

Class 5A state tournament — Oct. 13-15 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.

Class 4A state tournament — Oct. 13-15 at Pueblo City Park.

 

TEAM-BY-TEAM OUTLOOK

BOULDER PANTHERS

Coach: Doug Kazarosian (2nd year)

Last year: Tied for fourth at 5A state tournament

Returning state qualifiers: Hans Callanan (Jr.); Will Enterline (Jr.); Ethan Katz (Jr.); Henry Hawk (Jr.); Everett Martin (Jr.); Kap Smith (Jr.); Luke Sylvester (Jr.).

Niwot senior Mathew Chavez is back after advancing to the No. 2 singles quarterfinals last season.
Niwot senior Mathew Chavez is back after advancing to the No. 2 singles quarterfinals last season. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

Others to watch: None.

Outlook: Everyone is older and wiser. The tournament experience is there too. Other schools have taken notice and the Panthers schedule shows it with the likes of Cherry Creek, Fairview, Kent Denver and Niwot among others. Smith is the defending champion at No. 1 singles and will provide quality leadership to a team that wants to desperately improve on back-to-back fourth place state finishes.

 

BROOMFIELD EAGLES

Coach: John Long (2nd year)

Last year: Tied for 12th at 5A state tournament

Returning state qualifiers: Mason Lewis (So.); Simon Lupo (Sr.); Mitchell Manwaring (Jr.); Drew May (Sr.); Jack Vandeberg (So.); Spencer Wolff (Sr.); Blake Wood (Jr.).

Others to watch: Chris Stroebel (Jr.); Charlie Vandeburg (Fr.).

Outlook: One year after qualifying the entire team for the state tournament, the Eagles have a chance to make some noise. Led by a much improved Wolff and Lupo, coach Long's team is deep and would love nothing more than to defend their regional title and move up in the state standings. "It's a matter of believing we belong at state," Long said.

 

CENTAURUS WARRIORS

Coach: Julie Daniel (4th year)

Last year: Seventh at regionals

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Peak to Peak’s Brett Finan reached the No. 1 singles semifinals as a freshman last year, and hopes to improve on that this season.
Peak to Peak's Brett Finan reached the No. 1 singles semifinals as a freshman last year, and hopes to improve on that this season. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

Others to watch: Joe Dunbar (Sr.); Ben Gygi (Jr.,); Hank Heggestad (Jr.); Chris Jachimiak (Jr.); Austin Kattenhorn (Fr.).

Outlook: The Warriors are young, but its a group that has experience on the varsity level. Said Daniel: "Our team numbers continue to grow. We now have eight courts, five new, so that will allow players to hit lots of tennis balls. Summer camp with clinicians Alan and Chad Tsuda of Richs Tennis School and well attended summer community hits has the team ready to go and compete with confidence."

 

DAWSON MUSTANGS

Coach: Kathryn Benninghoff (10th year)

Last year: Tied for eighth at 4A state tournament

Returning state qualifiers: Seth Clemente (Sr.); Ben Howson (Sr.); Finn Jones (Jr.); Cade McClellan (Sr.); Ryan Otto (Sr.); Sam Troughton (So.).

Others to watch: Riley Burridge (Fr.); Carter Holbrook (So.); Connor Larson (Jr.).

Outlook: Dawson is talented from the top of its ladder to the bottom, with youth at the singles positions and experience at the doubles rungs. The Mustangs seek to be top contenders in Region 4.

 

ERIE TIGERS

Coach: Doug Simkins (1st year)

Last year: Eighth at regionals

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Strong freshmen and sophomore classes.

Outlook: The program is still in its infancy and Simkins — the athletic director at Boulder Country Day — is a good coach that will get the most out of his athletes. The Tigers will be competitive and will hope to challenge for a few spots at the regional tournament.

 

FAIRVIEW KNIGHTS

Coach: Chad Tsuda (9th year)

Last year: Second at 5A state tournament

Returning state qualifiers: Graham Blanco (Sr.); Devin Harper (Sr.); Tom Melville (Jr.); Aaron Nguyen (Jr.); Brooks Savage (Jr.); Ethan Schacht (Jr.); David Zhao (Sr.).

Others to watch: Adam Chehadi (Jr.); Beck Crisbens (So.); Andy Wu (So.).

Outlook: The Knights are good. They always seem to find a way to be in the mix and put a scare into Cherry Creek at Gates Tennis Center. In typical Tsuda fashion, he doesn't give much away about how much he likes his team, but reading between the lines, he is quietly confident that his boys will be right back in the running.

 

FREDERICK WARRIORS

Coach: Mark Allen (3nd year)

Last year: 10th at regionals

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Carter Goddard (Sr.); Kyle Lee (Sr.); Bobby Lucas (Sr.); Luis Osorio Lopez (Sr.); Taylor Wagner (Jr.).

Outlook: Allen is excited about the progression of his team that is now in its third year. He said: "We return the whole team plus a transfer. We have increased our wins from one to three in our first two years and look forward to many more wins this year. We have a lot of seniors and I truly feel we are moving in the right direction and will be winning more with the experience we have."

 

LEGACY LIGHTNING

Coach: Alan Godman (10th year)

Last year: Fourth at regionals

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Jordan Boucher (Sr.).

Outlook: The Lightning have been building to the 2016 season and will approach this campaign with a roster that lost just two seniors off of last years top ladder.

 

LONGMONT TROJANS

Coach: Gale Howard (1st year)

Last year: Fifth at regionals

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Brendan Arndt (So.); Quinn McCain (Fr.); Kaden Randolph (Sr.); Calvin Seamons (Fr.).

Outlook: The longtime Boulder coach takes over a program at Longmont that is basically starting over. Arndt is a good piece of the puzzle for the Trojans at No. 1 singles, but numbers are a problem and Howard will have his work cut out for him to make the Trojans competitive.

 

MONARCH COYOTES

Coach: Duke Paluch (2nd year)

Last year: Ninth at 5A state tournament

Returning state qualifiers: Reed Harrington (Sr.); Quinn McNamara (So.).

Others to watch: Michael Conde (Fr.); Cyrus Evans (Jr.); Andrew Ferraro (Jr.); Justin Fritensky (Sr.); Logan Fritensky (Sr.); Jack Ferry (Sr.); Isaac Moorman (Sr.); Connor Reuter (So.).

Outlook: The foundation is now in place at Monarch and while the Coyotes lost some vital cogs, the attitude and ability to compete with the states elite is now there. The potential is through the roof.

 

NIWOT COUGARS

Coach: Miikka Keronen (12th year)

Last year: Third at 4A state tournament

Returning state qualifiers: Riley Black (So.); Mathew Chavez (Sr.); Peter Graham (Sr.); Gabe Hyde (Sr.); Riley Mulshine (So.); Monas Saini (So.).

Others to watch: Caden Kammerer (Fr.).

Outlook: Much like many of the state other big dogs, the Cougars just have a knack for reloading instead of rebuilding after a big graduation loss. There is some power at the top of the line-up, as usual with Chavez and the newcomer Kammerer. Niwot will be in the hunt down in Pueblo yet again.

 

PEAK TO PEAK PUMAS

Coach: Eric Farran (3nd year)

Last year: 14th at Class 4A state tournament

Returning state qualifiers: Brett Finan (So.); Max Sherman (Sr.).

Others to watch: Teo Cariov (So.).

Outlook: It has been a steady climb for the Pumas, who simply wanted to improve last year in the regional tournament. They did. And now the goal is to add another layer to the foundation and make some noise at the state tournament.

 

PROSPECT RIDGE MINERS

Coach: Ari Finkelstein (1st year)

Last year: n/a

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Nathan Arbuckle (So.), Antoine Billat (Fr.), Tanner Brown (So.), Telis Demos (So.), Spencer Relihan (Jr.), Jake Stetson (Fr.).

Outlook: "Being that this is the first varsity squad at the school, we need to be the ones to set the bar high as high as we can," Finkelstein said. The Miners will be thrown right into the mix against the rugged Metropolitan League, but are confident they can be competitive.

 

SILVER CREEK RAPTORS

Coach: Kelly Burns (7th year)

Last year: Third at regionals

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Ben Bicknell (Fr.); Jake Fuhrman (Sr.); Mathew Mazzetta (Sr.); Michael Nagus (Sr.); Brandon Nelson (Jr.); Jacob Stringer (Sr.).

Outlook: Burns calls this his strongest group he has had in his seven year at the school, and given that, he is cautiously optimistic about his teams chances this year. We will find out a lot about the Raptors early on against a schedule of some of the states best ... a ploy that Burns hopes will pay off in October.

 

SKYLINE FALCONS

Coach: Phil Astras (1st year)

Last year: Eighth at regionals

Returning state qualifiers: None.

Others to watch: Nathaniel Allen (Sr.); Jarod Balentine (Sr.); Peter Nieuwlandt (Sr.); Alex Schernecke (Sr.).

Outlook: It's been a slow and steady rise for the Falcons over the past few years and with senior-heavy team, they hope to take another step forward in their progression and become a relevant factor in the regional tournament.

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