Coach: Nick Salazar
The Scorecard: The Panthers bring back a slew of state qualifiers as junior Ezra Doherty, sophomore Agi Willis, junior Danny Benjamin and junior Will Curl round out part of the roster. They are, however, still trying to suss out which boy will fill each line. “We are very excited to compete again in the Front Range League,” Salazar said. “We have a bunch of new freshmen who are eager for a chance to compete at the varsity level. We were able to qualify four lines last year and this year, like every year, we want to qualify all seven lines.”
The Scorecard: The Eagles enter the 2021 season still on the hunt for a head coach to replace Jim Vogel, who will remain on staff until such a person is found. They bring back sophomore Kai Trujillo, who qualified for state at No. 2 singles as a freshman, as well as junior Cam Maclennan and senior Charlie Kuhna. While BHS will surely find a knowledgable head coach eventually, the Eagles are not void of senior leadership. “It feels like a decade ago we were playing doubles tennis in masks last fall,” athletic director Steve Shelton said. “We are excited to welcome back our tennis players and pick up a few athletes that chose not to play during the pandemic. We have a great mix of experienced singles players combined with good depth at the doubles positions.”
Coach: Doug Kazarosian
The Scorecard: The Knights return three lettermen in seniors Isaac Christensen, Henry Burke and sophomore Caden Bell. They enjoyed a fifth-place team finish in last year’s Class 5A state tournament as two seniors, Luke Silverman and Brody Pinto, played their way into the semifinals in 1 and 2 singles. Bell and Dillon Tooman also enjoyed semifinal marks in 3 doubles and 4 doubles, respectively. “We are excited to play a full schedule this year of tournaments and dual meets,” Kazarosian said. “The guys have noticeably worked hard in the offseason on their games, and their spirit, energy and teamwork is admirable.”
Coach: Sanh Nguyen
The Scorecard: The Lightning boys put in significant work in the offseason to build their stock for the 2021 season. They bring back sophomores David Tran, Noah Klein and junior Alex Anthony to round out their singles lines. Last season, Klein barely made varsity. Now, he earned his way all the way up the ladder to No. 2 singles. “We are excited to have a class of incoming freshmen with a good starting skill set unlike the years past,” Nguyen said. “We are happy to see this new class of young athletes joining the team this year.”
Coach: Billy Downs
The Scorecard: The Coyotes sent just one player to state last year at 3 singles in senior Jack Reuter, but they have plenty of athletes to step up in his absence. Senior Connor Smith, junior Luke Jensen and junior Callum Conaghan will round out Monarch singles lines as all seven lines have shown great improvement since the end of the 2020 season. “Our team was young last year and we have had great growth, not only skill set but size,” Downs said. “Some of our boys will come out hitting harder and steadier this year.”
Coach: Julie Daniel
The Scorecard: The Warriors look strong coming into their 2021 slate as they welcome back state qualifiers at 3 doubles in senior Cole Spradlin and junior Ty Stroud, who had a near-perfect record last year until finishing second at their regional tournament. Centaurus boasted more depth last year, but the current roster worked hard during a busy offseason. “I’m just really excited with all the uncertainty and unevenness of last season that we can get back to having a more integrated season with things that we’re used to having in our experience at Centaurus,” Daniel said. “We definitely treat everyone on the team as important.”
Coach: Kathy Benninghoff
The Scorecard: As the first official week of practice comes to a close, the Mustangs find themselves still sorting through line positions because so many boys are vying for the top singles and doubles spots. They return top talent in senior Kevin Patel and juniors Tyler Burridge and Alfie Whitemore while rounding out their lineup with other 2020 state qualifiers in senior Ian McLeod, junior Ryah Orris, junior Owen Leidich and sophomore George Shehan. “We coaches feel confident about Dawson’s squad,” Benninghoff said. “We like its composition of returning players and new starters. The team is strong across the singles slate and top doubles positions.”
Coach: Eric Farran
The Scorecard: The Tigers boast a young squad this year with many freshmen filling out their roster while also returning several seniors, including Aidan Lyle, who recorded a 4-3 regular season record in 2020. Erie will not, however, be bringing back any state qualifiers. “We have good numbers and are very excited to have a full season of competition,” Farran said.
Frederick High School
Coach: Mark Allen
The Scorecard: Frederick returns to action with an early battle for No. 1 singles as the new season gets underway. Junior Rylan Cram and seniors Quinn McNeill and Tanner Bolin are all in the mix to take the top spot as FHS as a whole looks forward to much-improved play. “I think my team’s skill set is their will to improve and be better each and every day,” Allen said. “Guys have been putting in work over the winter and summer and it has shown. We have not had a ton of success but we expect that to change this year and surprise some people.”
Coach: Mike Merz
The Scorecard: Longmont will play its first season without standout 1 singles player Henry Matheson, who tragically passed in a car accident last year. It’ll return state qualifiers and rely on the leadership of seniors Thomas Marshall and Tristan Rangel, who will take over the 1 and 2 singles spots, respectively. “We are a very young team with everyone in a new position,” Merz said. “Our strength is our youth. After the death of my 1 singles player Henry Matheson, my seniors have become better players and leaders.”
Coach: Aimee Keronen
The Scorecard: The Cougars enter the 2021 fall season riding a bit of a high after nabbing their first team title in 2020. Although Niwot will play without the aid of their No. 1 singles powerhouse and two-time state champion Neil Wilcox, it will have plenty of talent to lean on. The Cougars return junior No. 3 singles champion Luke Weber as well as doubles state runner-up players in sophomore Li Chen and senior Alan Wilcox. “I’m super excited for this season, getting back to a 12-match season without all the restrictions,” Keronen said. “We have a very talented young team that I can’t wait to see what they can do!”
Peak to Peak Pumas
Coach: Eric Carlson
The Scorecard: The Pumas suffered through a lean season in 2020, quite atypical of a program that often finds ways to get multiple lines to the state tournament. No information on the 2021 team was provided, but Peak to Peak will play in one of the state’s toughest regionals, which should prepare any survivors for a good run at the 4A championships in Pueblo.
Prospect Ridge Academy Miners
Coach: Ari Finkelstein
The Scorecard: The Miners enjoy an experienced lineup, highlighted by junior singles standouts in Roee Sela and Jackson Billings. “We have a small but experienced team this year, with eight returning players and a very strong junior class. … We hope to make a splash in our league this year and perhaps qualify some boys for state,” Finkelstein said. “For a small team (15 this year at tryouts) that doesn’t have its own courts and practices on two nearby community courts, we’re surprisingly competitive — in a stacked 4A Metro League, no less.”
Silver Creek Raptors
Coach: Sara Whiteley
The Scorecard: The Raptors graduated most of their roster last year but will bring back seniors Jaden Reenan, Luke Graboski, Nick Golovanov and juniors Nate Hansen, Jake Bator and Nick Selleck. Whiteley will lean on that strong core of returners to guide her team this season. “We will have a good team with some fantastic leadership from our upperclassmen,” she said. “We have finished in the top half at regionals and are looking to send some teams to state this season.”
Coach: Tom Galey
The Scorecard: The Falcons return top talent in junior Evan Elmandorf — who earned all-state honorable mention in No. 2 doubles during the 2020 season — Jonathan Granados and Sam Lovell. They’ll also reincorporate Ryan Messinger and Reece Mintzer, who took last year off, into the lineup. “We are very excited to be back out on the courts,” Galey said. “We also have a new assistant coach, Rocky Nelson is coming off a big season in USTA and has been in training with USPTA for his teaching certification. He’s a former star from Monarch High School’s Varsity Tennis team a few years back.”
Point me to the postseason
Regionals in tennis are scheduled to play between Oct. 6-9 at various locations. A breakdown:
5A Regionals — Regional placement will be determined by league finish. The top two teams in the 5A Front Range League — which includes area schools in Boulder, Broomfield, Fairview, Legacy and Monarch — will host.
4A Region 4 — Local teams: Dawson. Date/location: TBD. Greeley Central hosts.
4A Region 5 — Local teams: Niwot, Centaurus, Erie, Frederick, Longmont, Peak to Peak, Prospect Ridge, Silver Creek and Skyline. Time/Location: TBD. Niwot hosts.
5A state tournament — Oct. 14-16 at Gates Tennis Center in Denver.
4A state tournament — Oct. 14-16 at Pueblo City Park.
Cream of the crop: 2020 BoCoPreps.com All-region team
First Team (Name, 2020-21 class, school)
Singles: Henry Matheson, Jr., Longmont; Danny O’Brien, Sr., Longmont; Brody Pinto, Sr., Fairview; Jack Reuter, Sr., Monarch; Luke Silverman, Sr., Fairview; Luke Weber, So., Niwot; Neil Wilcox, Sr., Niwot.
Doubles: Caden Bell, Fr./Dillon Tooman, Sr., Fairview; Henry Burke, Jr./Andrew Yonan, Sr., Fairview; LiChen Liao, Fr./Ivan Calderon, Sr., Niwot; Xavier Moy, Sr./Alan Wilcox, Jr., Niwot.
Singles: Clayton Baldwin, Sr., Fairview; Tyler Burridge, So., Dawson School; Roberto Esteban Vera, Sr., Silver Creek; Sam Keronen, Sr., Niwot; Jackson Lewis, Fr., Boulder; Cameron Lupo, Sr., Broomfield; Aidan Lyle, Jr., Erie; Thomas Marshall, Jr., Longmont; Kevin Patel, Jr., Dawson School; Roee Sela, So., Prospect Ridge Academy; Nate Spillman, Sr., Boulder; David Tran, Fr., Legacy; Kai Trujillo, Fr., Broomfield; William Van Vuuren, Jr., Silver Creek; James Wongsudin, Sr., Skyline.
Doubles: Raaghav Agarwal, Jr./Ryan Gray, So., Niwot; Danny Benjamin, So./Will Curl, So., Boulder; Ty Chandler, Jr./Ezra Doherty, So., Boulder; Zak Chehadi, Sr./Jake Wicks, Jr., Fairview; Gunnar Christianson, So./Holden Walker, So., Broomfield; Rylan Cram, So./Quinn McNeill, Jr., Frederick; Owen Hinrichs, Sr./Caleb Harris, So., Peak to Peak; Owen Hushka, Sr./Isaac Christensen, Jr., Fairview; Owen Leidich, So./George Shehan, Fr., Dawson School; Jimmy McConahy, Sr./Abenezer Keefer, Sr., Longmont; Reeves Moor, Sr./Maia Heather, Sr., Niwot; Luke Orris, Sr./Ian McLeod, Jr., Dawson School; Tristan Rangel, Jr./Oliver Seamons, Sr., Longmont; Toni Scheiber, Sr./Ryan Orris, So., Dawson School; Cole Spradlin, Jr./Ty Stroud, So., Centaurus; Alex Sutherland, Sr./Agi Willis, Fr., Boulder; Alfie Whitemore, So./Wilson Miller, Fr., Dawson School.