Unfortunately for Laura Jones, only three singles positions and four doubles slots exist in boys tennis this season.
Working with what she refers to as a “pool of parity” — in a very good way — the Regis Jesuit head coach would love to be able to put an extra doubles team on the court this season.
But with the rules being what they are, Jones expects to go into the season, which opens Aug. 15, with strong players in every spot.
“Five doubles teams would work perfectly for what I have this year,” Jones said with a laugh.
“It’s going to be interesting what happens before we play our first match (Aug. 27),” she added. “It’s not a bad situation and it keeps everybody working hard to maintain a spot on varsity.”
The reason for the Raiders’ numbers issue is the fact that seven players who qualified for last season’s Class 5A state tournament return, while a host of newcomers have shown the ability to match them stroke for stroke early in practice.
The depth has already come in handy, as Jones has to replace junior Enzo Abbott — last season’s No. 1 singles player — who is out for the year with a tear in his right shoulder.
Fortunately, a competitive group featuring sophomore Chanon Penvari — who placed fourth last season at No. 2 singles — plus another state qualifier in junior Trace Collins and newcomers David Arzumanyan, a senior, and freshman Erich Nuss should give Regis Jesuit a strong singles mix.
The odd man out will join a doubles field that includes returning state qualifiers in seniors Nate Root and Timmy D’Costa, juniors Truett Davis, Alec Jotte and Joey Robertson and sophomore Steven Bummer, with sophomore Tommy Koszowski and freshman Luca Abbott eager to crack the lineup.
The rest of Aurora got shut out of state berths last season, but that could change in 2013.
Grandview coach Jeff Ryan has heightened expectations for the Wolves this season, considering the core of varsity-experienced seniors he has in Jordan Greenhut (No. 1 singles), Connor Tibbetts (No. 2 singles) and former doubles partners Rohit Gupta and Jack Lansford, one of whom is likely to man the other singles spot.
“This is a culmination for a lot of them and there’s no Year Five, so we’ll see what they can do,” Ryan said.
Smoky Hill graduated a state tournament-experienced singles player in Chris Whipple and veteran No. 1 Austin Kohlman is also gone.
New coach Jeff Davis, who served as an assistant to former coach Colin Lesyinski last season, has a returning core of juniors headed by Joey Ingolio, Connor Thue and Alex Elkin, plus experienced seniors Devin Huschka and Chris Moll.
Steve Joiner’s Rangeview teams seeks another strong showing in EMAC play with eight returning varsity players. Among them are established singles players Josh Urban and Nick La who will play in the No. 1 and No. 2 slots, respectively.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at [email protected] or 303-750-7555. Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2013 BOYS TENNIS SEASON
Key dates: Aug. 12 — Practice begins; Aug. 15 — Regular season begins; Sept. 26 — Class 5A boys league play completed; Sept. 27 — 5A boys regionals determined; Oct. 6 — 5A regionals completed; Oct. 10-12 — State championships (5A, Gates Tennis Center)
Aurora players to watch: Enzo Abbott, Regis Jesuit, jr. (injured); Luca Abbott, Regis Jesuit, fr.; David Arzumanyan, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Steven Bummer, Regis Jesuit, soph.*; Matthew Chedid, Rangeview, fr.; Trace Collins, Regis Jesuit, jr.*; Timmy D’Costa, Regis Jesuit, sr.*; Truett Davis, Regis Jesuit, jr.*; Alex Elkin, Smoky Hill, jr.; Kevin Erdenechimeg, Eaglecrest, sr.; Jordan Greenhut, Grandview, sr.; Rohit Gupta, Grandview, sr.; Devin Huschka, Smoky Hill, sr.; Joey Ingolio, Smoky Hill, jr.; Alec Jotte, Regis Jesuit, jr.*; Paul Kim, Overland, soph.; Tommy Koszowki, Regis Jesuit, soph.; Nick La, Rangeview, sr.; Jack Lansford, Grandview, sr.; Chris Moll, Smoky Hill, sr.; Andrew Nelson, Eaglecrest, sr.; Erich Nuss, Regis Jesuit, fr.; Chanon Penvari, Regis Jesuit, soph.*; Jaron Pruett, Eaglecrest, sr.; Joey Robertson, Regis Jesuit, jr.*; Nate Root, Regis Jesuit, sr.*; Connor Thue, Smoky Hill, jr.; Connor Tibbetts, Grandview, sr.; Josh Urban, Rangeview, jr.; Noah Warren, Regis Jesuit, sr.*
* — Returning 5A state qualifier