As the snow flurries start to fall today what a better time to look ahead to the hopefully the heat of Spring/Summer tennis.
Our initial rosters were due yesterday and all the league look pretty good, 3.5 and 4.0 have grown yet again. 30 teams will compete at 3.5 and 32 teams at the 4.0 level. The 4.5 league will field only 17 teams. That is actually 2 less teams than last year. What’s up with that 4.5 players??
It might be too early to predict winners since the first match is 5 weeks away and some teams are still adding to their rosters and some like to wait till the day before match 1 to put on their best player (yeah we know who you are, that old trick has been around since league tennis began).
I think this post would be too big to list in one so I will break it into 3.5 and 4.0-4.5. So here it goes:
3.5 Preseason look:
I have to start with last Spring’s sectional and this year’s Fall winner in Garland. John’s team returns good players like Vandefifer, Ross, Key, Howk and Delira. Delira might be on the only guaranteed win each time out but they will be in the mix for sure.
I also like Jolly’s Canyon Creek team to do well especially if Reitzer joins the group. Oak Creek returns a lot of players but will not have Yauch and Rivera who were big reasons why they made the playoffs in the Fall. Westlake has collected some good players but will depend heavily on Eddie Johnson to win some single matches. Stonebridge returns everyone but will still struggle in singles unless they have some new recruits. You can copy my comments for Kayser’s team as well but their doubles teams are very tough, so even one good singles player could make them a force to be reckon with. Lifetime wins the most players signed up award and most have experience in winning so I expect them to do pretty well. Bob Bender’s 3.0 National winner has moved up and split to two teams, one captained by Pat Jameson. Jameson’s team looks to be the best on paper (Wiley, Harrison, Jauregi, Jameson, Moghe) but both lack some definite singles winners so far..
Last but not least the Oakridge boys. They should return to the playoffs and with no losses on a pretty good team they should do pretty well this Spring season. With Molina and Prather leading the way they should be strong and could they land Reitzer, if so I really like their chances.
I think 3.5 will be very evenly matched this year and will depend heavily on the flight seperation to determine playoff positioning.