4.0 Preseason look
It is hard to think that Bob Somabut’s team won’t repeat as champs since all they lost was Kris Endress. Kris is a great player but with new additions from past championship teams they will be just fine. They do lack ringers at singles but their depth at doubles is mind boggling. The legendary Chad Carlquist and his forehand could be playing line #3 doubles. Brouer and Robinson have signed on as well as Jarad Kemp. Scary. Brand new Blumberg also playing 4.5, how good is this guy, my guess REALLY good.
So for the rest of us we will be fighting for the chance at the wild card to Sectionals or be hopeful that the favorite will slip up. Both Brookhaven regular playoff Brookhaven teams (Bartlett/Pearlman) should be in the mix although their lack of singles play will leave them vulnerable to some close regular season matches. Bartlett is best suited to make a run with Buford and if Pearlman can get Rhodes signed up again they will have a shot.
The obvious second favorite is Springpark/Walters who went to sectionals last Spring and did well in the Fall and added ringer Eugene Davis. They are built much like Somabut’s team with great doubles players and solid singles players but no guarantee, as good as Walters, Pearson and Wildberger are they are not guarantees at line 1 singles.
But then again who is really?
The Lakes didn’t lose any players from the Fall playoff team and actually gained back Mike Richardson who is a tough singles player. John Arnette’s Greenhill team looks to be strong once again and tries to return to Sectionals again.
Past those teams there are others than can make a run like Helterbran’s team, Canyon Creek/Heflin, Stonebridge, Garland, Lifetime and High Point/Harrison and my own High Point/Bazan rosters are pretty good as so it will be interested to see which teams make it to the playoffs. I really think there is pretty good depth in this level so I expect the QT tourney as well as the City tourney to be very competitive.
4.5 Preseason look
Hmmm. Should we just pencil in Branch’s team to Sectionals now or what? I wish them the best though I know the Houston and Austin teams are gearing up to compete for that National trip again so I hope Dallas can do well.
Corey Noel promised good things this season after a good showing in the Fall playoffs, nearly beating Branch’s team. Beyond Branch’s group the other Oak Creek teams (Bovermann, Feldman) usually do well too and I noticed Jimmy Walker’s move to the DFW team which will make them a threat at least a little bit. Kirby Martin has collected the best of High Point for a solid looking team.
So although there are less teams I think the regular season will be very competitive and we will see if by the end of the season it is just a replay of Branch's team marching on or if someone will step up and give them a real scare.