Monday, August 23, 2010

Fall 4.5 Pre-season - Flight A

I liked the way Corey ranked the teams in the spring so I will try to do something similar. One flight per week before the season starts. Of course I don’t know and haven’t played everyone so will likely be horribly off on some predictions again….

Flight A

Teams to beat:

Garland/ Noel - With the addition of Saqueton, Akhtar and Baker these guys have more than made up for their loss of Hawkins & Xu AND they proved me wrong in the play-offs so I think they are the smart pick right now.

Las Colinas - second on tie-breakers with the addition of James and anticipated Wescoup sign-up this is a good roster

Lakes – Strong dubs, and Kirkpatrick is a solid singles guy. They have lost some depth to the Weatherby team which may be an issue in the fall.

Best of the rest:
Village – tough team to beat every week!
Oak Creek – Don Smith knows what he is doing so these guys are a tough out every week even if they don’t have any superstars
High Point – Carlquist takes over as captain. Some strong players even though they struggled at times in the Spring. Are they motivated to go out and win every week? We will see.
Canyon Creek – talent from the spring split between 2 teams with numerous 4.0s playing up. Don’t expect a repeat of the strong debut

LBH – nice guys playing for fun. Pretty much the same roster that struggled in the Spring
Hackberry – If they can get 8 guys to all their away matches they will be tough but are notorious for a lack of commitment and also lost their best player (Andrew Pretty); I'm sure these guys will take issue with this prediction so hopefully it will motivate them to have a good fall. There are some solid players on the roster.
SpringPark – Struggled in the Spring – not sure that the one big addition can jump them to the next level.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

USTA Participation

I apologize to Cap't Fantastic for posting right after his post, but he made me wonder about USTA Participation numbers and what the trends were for Men's tennis after the massive bump ups. I will attempt to use as little space as possible to keep the 4.0 thread inside the page fold. Spring League measured only.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

4.0 Fall Preview - Flights are out

The 4.0 season currently consists of 522 registered players spread amongst 45 different teams.  Needless to say, I can't drill down on each player and each team to give a perfect assessment of what's  in store for the Fall.  I will make my general and limited observations for everyone else to fill in the blanks.

The first question to address is which teams will be truly vying to win in the Fall to take the City title, and which teams will be using the season to protect their ratings and get their self rates with computer ratings.  With the Fall Season City winner now only securing a Spring QT spot, will teams really fight and risk losing players to bump ups to go and obtain it?   With so many teams and players, I would have to think we would see another migration upward made by the USTA to get more players up to the 4.5 level, and more 4.5s up to the 5.0 level.  

The 522 registered players are broken out into 5 flights:

Flight A - Lifetime Arcaria seems to get off easy being placed in this flight and should finish #1 or 2.  This team comes off from going to Sectionals in the Spring and only losing a handful of players to mid-season bumps.  As of now, only one of his "ringers" has re-signed but it is still early.  He still has a core of solid players but are they enough to go to the finals back to back without re-stocking additional ringers?  In this flight, my guess is he should make it just fine.

Runner ups - Springpark has a decent team and faired with a winning record in the Spring.  My guess is they fair well and finish in the top 3 or 4.  Stonebriar had a 50/50 record in the Spring and perhaps should do better in this flight.  Huffhines Ratcliffe could also make a showing but he lacks the fire power in singles which carried him over a year ago to make the DCC.

New Comers - HP Kaiser appears to be the Bender 3.5 team going to Nationals minus a few players and adding to HP Jameson's remaining squad from the Spring.  They could be the flight spoilers depending on how quickly they adjust to 4.0.   Brookhaven Alzuro also has a team but not sure why he does as he struggled with most of these players in the watered down 3.5 Spring league.

Flight B - At first look you see Garland Sisk 1 and you begin to tremble.  But taking a closer look at the Garland's 4 teams, I am abit miffed and confused.  Each team just meets the 8 player minimum and he has some of his stronger players spread on the different teams and not lumped together.  I guess when the Death Star imploded, it shot fragments of his squadron abroad and this is what is left over.  The only way I see the Garland teams finishing in the top in any of the fligths is if there is some re-shuffling of players made to put the stronger ones together on one roster.  Sisk must be in tight with Jane Gilpen to make something happen quickly.

Stonebridge Muniz should have a good team and with this flight the way it is, should have a shot at finishing in the top 3.  Same with Canyon Creek.

New Comers- It appears fragments of the Death Star made it all the way to Fretz with Clark, Wiley & Co. having departed Garland with a few other players and formed their own team.  They could definitely be the flight spoilers if they wanted to with a little more recruiting.

Flight C - O.K.  We see HP Somabut.  Same thing, start to shiver.  Right?  Wrong.  What?  There are two 3.0 self rates and a 3.5 self rate??  C'mon Bob, who are you kidding??  At least self rate them at the level they are playing in.  Having guys who are truly 4.5s self rate at 3.0 just doesn't make sense and you are going to have Tosha calling you up one Monday to let you know she re-rated them to 4.0.  It still doesn't protect them and you know it !!    This is like laying all your cards on the table and tells me the Fall for this team will be getting proper computer ratings and building for the Spring.  I don't see them taking any risks to make a run for the QT spot.

Greenhill has an impressive roster and they should finish in the top 3 if  not taking the flight.  Village Gordon should also do very well and could make a run at it.   We see yet another Sisk team but this one is mainly his 3.5 bump ups with the exception of Tyler Price.  My guess is that Tyler gets moved to another team, or the Fall and the spreading out of his key players on all these different rosters is to protect them from year end ratings and save them for the Spring.

Flight D - (I am starting to get tired here so forgive me if these start to get brief.)  Brookhaven Strohl has a great squad and they finish within the top 3.  High Point Bazan also has his core group of guys and were just shy of making the DCC in the Spring.  They definitely make a running.  While the Lakes had an impressive run this past Spring, it was mainly due to his 2 singles players which are no longer 4.0.  While he has some good dubs players, they are not as strong as Strohl's or Bazan's and I see those 2 edging them out of any post-season hopes.

Garland Sisk 2 ??.......ZZZZZZ.....this is getting old. Not sure why Corcoran, Wickman, and Stein, aren't on team 1 with Price.  Now Big John, don't go making changes based on my assessment.  I'm sure you have something up your sleeve.   I guess we will see how accomodating Jane is and what your rosters look like after the first match in September.   We will be watching you!!!

Flight E - Brookhaven Pearlman has most of his team from the Spring in tact and should do well.  Oak Creek should also be a finisher in the top 3.  Another Garlad.  JCC loses Lutes and Reiman which weaken their ability to compete agains Brookhaven or Oak Creek.  Not much else of noting in this flight.

So there you have it.  The low down on 45 teams and 522 players.  Give us your insights and let the smack talking begin........

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Combo Next Weekend

In a blatant attempt to push the whinning and crying down to the next level, we will talk about ....


Looks like we have 5 teams that made the cut at 4.0/4.5 Combo. Odds are written as beer to beers odds. You will catch on below.

6 players. Every player plays every time. This is my most fond style for these types of tournaments. People getting hurt is greatly over exaggerated. In order for Somabut to take the prize, however, there will have to be a strict beer drinking ratio of 3 beers for the opponents for every 1 beer by Somabut team. (3 to 1)

This team seems to be ramping up for another "shot" at Sectionals Combo I see. These have to be the front runners at this point. I am going to guess opponents will need 6 beers and 1 shot by every Pickett player for every 1 beer by opponents. Advantage Pickett (1 to 6+1)

Rossow: So far, I have seen more talk about beer than practice. I would put this out as a 3 beer to 1 odds ratio, but, unfortunately I see the Rossow crew self inducing their own odds making prior to match play. Odds calculator adjusted accordingly: 9 beers for opponents for every 3 beers by the Rossouw team. (9 to 3)

Johnson: On the one hand, I only recognize 2 names, on the other hand, I only recognize 2 names. One as being a good guy, and the other, well, blog rumor can be greatly exaggerated . The beer meter seems dsyfuntional against this crew, so I will SWAG a 5 to 1 beer ratio (5 to 1)

Sisk: I have to say that I like the 4.5s. This crew will give team Pickett the biggest run for its money. I will have to rate this team a 6 to 1 beer ratio. (1 to 6)

Only time will tell if the beer meter is correct. Good Luck Gentlemen... Start your practicing!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sectionals Wrap Up

Not sure if Team Branch feels like this but it made me think of the Red Sox who had sniffed success for many years but never actually got what they were looking for. I know there is still one step to go for the big title but "getting" to Nationals is an extraordinary achievement. This team continued to amass talent over the years and this year it just seemed like it all would come together, I had doubts when Kern joined the Noho underground club but it turned out OK in the end. Congrats to all of them. The 4.5 tourney seemed stronger overall with teams like Waco making the semis and both San Antonio teams making it through and leaving the three Houston teams on the outside looking in.

But enough about those guys who know how to play tennis, 4.0 did not disappoint with a number of good surprise teams as well. In Flight 1 San Angelo not only won the flight knocking out the Houston Hurricanes and then went on to make the finals v. Lubbock. Who picked that one?

In Flight 2 Waco stormed through to take that flight undefeated getting past San Antonio and Austin. I will say Caleb told me he had confidence in this team to go far so at least one person picked that one. Their run ended in the semifinals.

In Flight 3 a flight handpicked by Greenhill/Wild Dallas, things started off well for them with two shutouts but there are no style points in tennis and a tough match v. Austin on Saturday morning took them out of contention entirely. That was a tough way to go out I am sure. NETX, Dallas and Austin finished in a 3 way tie for first but Austin had the tiebreakers mainly due to their 4-1 win over Dallas. Singles play seemed to be the difference in this flight.

In Flight 4, the 2008 Texas Champs returned many players for the 2010 version of their team and added a strong line 1 singles player in Lance Coleman and never seemed tested in this flight. Wild Houston and Lifetime had hopes of sneaking past but this Lubbock team seemed determined to go far and left these two teams searching for answers.

In the end it was Lubbock who essentially returned the same team from 2008 and will represent Texas again in 2010. I know there was a little back and forth regarding how this could possibly happen but I didn't do in depth research but just on a glance their 2009 match results seem pretty on the level, it is more curious how their 2008 sectional results and National results didn't keep them at 4.5. It was interesting to look at the Springpark v. Lubbock 2008 final. All 8 players on the Springpark team are now rated 4.5 and I think Gene might be 5.0 very soon if not already. In contrast only one player Tyler Chadwick is rated 4.5 out of that Lubbock 8 man lineup. Conspiracy?

I wish them luck on the next level, it will be curious to see if Lance Coleman survives the dreaded Monday computer run because they will need him to be competitive at Nationals.

I have to give it up for the smaller cities this weekend who showed up Big D and Houston. San Antonio probably had the best showing from all the big cities that came to Dallas this weekend.

Now all in Dallas start all over again to work towards August of 2011.