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Tennis preview: Top players to watch, key dates and more
A primer for the upcoming tennis season in the Pikes Peak region:
Top Players To Watch
Stephen Moore, junior, Cheyenne Mountain
Won the No. 3 singles state title last season and looks to step into a bigger role.
Nick Beaumon, junior, Canon City
Two-time state qualifier and all-conference in 2010.
Luke Lorenz, sophomore, Discovery Canyon
Qualified for state in No. 1 singles as a freshman in 2010.
Travis Kimsey, junior, Rampart
Returning No. 1 singles player who has a strong chance at making it to state this year.
Kollen Kaltenbacher, junior, Air Academy
Top player on a talented Kadet squad; went to state at No. 1 singles in 2010.
Others: Scott Weaver, Doherty; Brandon Nachbar, Discovery Canyon; Brandon Sydney, Doherty; Josh Elliot, Lewis-Palmer; Billy Fielding, Cheyenne Mountain; Zach Inman, Pine Creek; Naveed Ghasem, Lewis-Palmer
Team Most Likely To Contend At State
As is usually the case, Cheyenne Mountain is at the top of the list. The Indians come off of another 4A state title, their fourth in six years, and haven’t finished lower than second at state in the past 12 years. If the 2011 edition is going to continue the tradition, Steven Moore will have to take the reins as the top singles player, and players who won doubles state titles last season will have to assume the other two singles roles. As usual, Cheyenne Mountain will be loaded with talent and poised for a second straight state championship.
Cañon City Looking For Big Year
Cañon City has plenty of returning talent in 2011 and hopes that it will translate to success on the court. The Tigers return six state qualifiers, led by senior Jaryn Heath and juniors Alex Albrecht and Nick Beaumont, who were both all-conference in 2010. In addition to good front-line players, Canon City will be very deep and coach Joe Lozano will have several choices to mix-and-match with when it comes to coupling strong doubles teams. Another thing Canon City has going for it: It isn’t in the same region as Cheyenne Mountain. This should allow the Tigers to qualify many players for state once again.
5A Up For Grabs
While Cheyenne Mountain is the clear-cut favorite in 4A, the 5A scene in Colorado Springs is much hazier. Traditional 5A leader Pine Creek has a lot of youth, and with it a lot of question marks this season. The Eagles will only have four seniors on the squad, and neither of those four will be in the top two spots. Sophomore Zach Inman will most likely take over at No. 1 singles, while junior Owen Davis will play 2s. The doubles teams will feature mostly underclassmen for Pine Creek, making this season unpredictable. Doherty is the team to most likely challenge Pine Creek for 5A city bragging rights. The Spartans don’t return any state qualifiers, but do have seven seniors with plenty of varsity experience coming back. No. 1 singles Scott Weaver and No. 3 singles Brandon Sidney lead the way for Doherty.
Aug. 26-27 — Air Academy Tournament at four different sites in the city
Sept. 1 — Cheyenne Mountain at Air Academy
Sept. 17 — Niwot at Cheyenne Mountain (two of the best teams in the state in 4A)
Sept. 20 — Discovery Canyon at Cheyenne Mountain
Sept. 23 — Hoffman Invitational in Denver
Oct. 1 — Pine Creek at George Washington
Oct. 6-7 — Regional meets
Oct. 13-15 — State tournament (5A at Gates Tennis Center in Cherry Creek, 4A at City Park in Pueblo)