So it begins with FLIGHT I. It has been nicknamed the FLIGHT OF DEATH and I know some of questions whether team Wild Dallas chose this spot or was put there by Lifetime but in the end it doesn't matter.
Corpus Christi (30 to 1)
I don't know much about them but just have to go off history. I don't think they won't be competitive I just don't see them finishing at the top of this very tough heap of teams.
Noho (15 to 1)
The Houston Blog had some good insights on these guys since they are neighbors so you might want to check that out for exact names, etc. Much like CC I can see how this team could pull off an upset but not 2-3 upset wins to be in contention. They did have a DQ player so you know they aren't just coming for the socks, they will be in the mix and causing trouble for the top three teams.
Fort Worth (8 to 1)
I know this team is very good which shows you just how good this flight is since I am picking them to finish 3rd. Munz seems like a lock to win and strong players like Spector, Bell, Reid, Wynn, Lopez and Stetzer will make them very tough to beat. I think it will be depend on just what doubles teams Wynn and Lopez match up against. I think they might be beaten by Bob's top line or SA's top line so it will be important to land the right matchups and they may just come out on top.
Wild San Antonio (5 to 1)
I think it has been noted elsewhere that even though this team came in second they are probably the better SA team and may just be the top team in Texas. Everyone knows the names Wood and Zepeda but there are some solid results from other guys on this team like Mojico, Pacheco, Mugueroza and Vaca. I wish I knew more personally about this team but just on paper this team is pretty scary. Due to the depth they seem to have at doubles was the reasoning I see them just a cut above FW.
Wild Dallas (2 to 1)
Call me a homer but I have to get behind Team Bob. After last years shocking flight disaster in the final match I think this group is very focused on one goal and that is making it back to Sunday. There are no secrets this team will be carried by Johnson, Featherstone, Weymer, Fenn, Jarad and Robinson. They will only go as far as these six players can go and that is not a knock against the other guys but I don't think they are relying on wins from anyone else. With that said if Carlquist/Nguyen can reemerge as a force they could make it hard for the other top teams to take a doubles line.
This is a rather strange flight and I have a feeling it might get decided early on Saturday morning as Austin takes on Lifetime.
Wild Waco (75 to 1)
I don't think I am the first or last to say it is shocking this team is coming to sectionals. I would be shocked if they take a match against anyone.
QT-College Station (50 to 1)
Another wierd entry, they played Abilene for a right to come to Dallas so I guess they and Wild Waco can battle it out for 4th place.
Lubbock (25 to 1)
I know nobody will overlook this team but I am not sure they are bringing any firepower this time around. I have a feeling one or two names on this roster my jump up and surprise somebody because I find it hard to believe after a taste of winning they will just come and play for fun.
Austin (8 to 1)
I know they might not to want to hear it again but most don't think they are best Austin team but they can commiserate with Eddie on how that feels as they play each other. Peterson, Barlas and Spacek anchor a pretty strong team but nothing jumps out and says Sunday contender on this team but maybe they will just gut out another big win and prove everyone wrong and maybe get a rematch with Wild Austin.
To quote Jacques (I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit as I wrote that). It is hard for me to pick against them after listing the resumes of the other teams in this flight. This team is pretty good. Myers can win against just about anyone out there and in Eddie's mind he can beat anyone playing including guys in the 5.5 bracket. I hate to put the pressure on the other guys but their success will come down to guys like Kennedy, Moore, Brinkman, BMO and Shahab. This team was dangerously close to not making out of the QT with a tough win over OC and I have a feeling they will face another similar test and it will come down to the doubles guys to come up big. I see them as a slam dunk to get to Sunday (morning that is).
This flight is all about the Hurricanes, they had their storm quashed by Springpark last year but I don't see that happened this time around. Kudos to the USTA for not putting Houston and Dallas in the same flight.
Valley (50 to 1)
I know Adrian brings this team every year and I admire that but this hill is just too steep for this team.
SETX and Midland (30 to 1)
Have finished middle of the pack in previous years and I don't see anything changing this time around. Morris and Shanks of SETX are very solid but one line v. the Canes or SA will not make it that interesting.
San Antonio (15 to 1)
This is the only team that poses any type of threat to the mighty Hurricanes. Names like Collier, Purser, Murray, Judkins (2), Garza and Del Rio look rather impressive. I actually see them matching up pretty well with the Hurricanes and by pretty well I mean just close enough to have Jason sweat for 20 to 30 minutes but as talented as this team is I just think they are notch below Houston. Bad luck for them I think they might have had enough to take out SAP or Lifetime in the other flights.
Houston-Hurricanes (5 to 2)
This team is full of talent and although they might not have top tier talent as in the last two years I think they have better depth. I mean they didn't even put Towle on the team. :) Vargas, Foster, Inting, Rice and others will make this team a force to be reckon all through the weekend. There is one name that scares me if I was a an opposing captain. Chambert, two matches, didn't play in the playoffs...hmmmmmmmmm RINGER, maybe? I could be wrong.
This flight might just be the most balanced but I still see if coming down to Waco v. Houston for the top spot but wouldn't be surprised if all teams end up with at least one loss.
San Angelo (20 to 1)
I am sure Team Bob would love to tell folks how not to underestimate this group and they return some of that same group that ruined a High Point return trip to Sunday a year ago. I find it hard to seem them landing at the top of the flight but would not be surprised for them to play spoiler once again.
Wild FW (15 to 1)
Not a bad team at all in fact they have some depth but Paul Trevino is one of their strongest singles players which is great if this wasn't Texas Sectionals. I see them involved in some close 2-3 losses.
NETX (10 to 1)
This team much like San Angelo could beat just about any team listed in this flight but not sure if they can win 4 matches or have a high enough win total to beat out Waco and Houston. The captain is a strong player as well Mercer and Bratcher who had good success when they ventured out of NETX. They team they beat to make it here was pretty solid so I know they are battled tested and ready to go.
Waco (7 to 1)
Freeman warned me about this group a year ago and Bill has a shot at returning to glory as he grabbed some of his old national champions and will take another run at it. Bill is strong himself and the Houston blog noted that Westbrook was the lynch pin to success so we will see if he can come out for 4 matches and help them get to Sunday. I know Hillestad/Schroeder from tri-level and I lost a close match to them with a very good partner. They are good and will be a tough out.
Houston-SAP (2 to 1)
Hard to pick against this team who made it through a very tough Houston 4.0 league. Some of these names sound painfully familiar from 3.5 sectionals a couple of years ago (Tongol, Goodwin and Johnson). In addition there are strong names like Alpard, Vu, Sontag and Grego. Then there is the big dog Chris Towle, who has been hitting with us lately during the week. He is as good as any 4.0 player here in Dallas.
Sunday: Dallas v. Wild Dallas, Houston v. Wild Houston
Sunday afternoon: SECTIONALS GONE WILD and the winner is WILD HOUSTON in a close 3-2 match that I will come watch.