A casual observation of mine is that as you go down in NTRP, the passion for league tennis seems to go up. We never hear much squabbling or trash talking from 5.0s. When Oscar’s 5.0 team went to nationals last year, I was happy and really hoped he would win.
In 4.5, outside the Mike Kelly love/hate (more hate than love) relationship with this blog, there isn’t much chatter. Sure, Marc Rossouw chimes in on occasion but not much anymore. For the most part, at 4.5, we just play tennis and go home.
At 4.0, there appears to be more bickering. There is anger between High Point, Canyon Creek and Brookhaven. There is more interest in a 4.0 match than any 4.5 matches. About the only match being discussed all year is High Point versus Canyon Creek.
With that said, does anyone know why 4.0s are more passionate than the rest? Is it because these are usually the self-taught guys that didn’t learn to play until later in life? Maybe, the old adage of act like you have been there before applies because, most haven’t been there before… I really wish 4.5 would get some of that excitement; it makes for more interesting talk. Outside Mike Kelly, there just isn't enough 4.5 and 5.0 talk.
Oh well, as the season is beginning to wind down in some leagues and the players are pretty much decided in the leagues with several weeks to go, here are my thoughts…
Flight A: This is all but decided as the post season participants. While Gleneagles has a good bunch of players and guys, they are not mathematically eliminated. As I type this, Lakes is in first but Greenhill really is. They haven’t reported the Canyon Creek match. Unless something changes, Canyon Creek decides they would like to compete again, the winner of the flight comes down to either Lakes or Greenhill. Since both advance to a 4 team round robin tournament, it doesn’t matter. Barring any total collapse, I think Sweeney and Wagner can make their playoff plans now.
Flight B: This flight has a ton more drama. Brookhaven is undefeated and definitely in the driver’s seat to win but there is plenty of possibilities for them to miss it. They have already beaten 2nd and 3rd place playoff contenders TBarM and Greenhill still have to play one another in the first round. Obviously, it drops one of them to two losses. I like TBM because Marc’s main team that deserves a shout out plays in Fort Worth. His very large Wagon Wheel team is my favorite to win sectionals. I think Brookhaven and TBM advance to playoffs.
Flight A: McKinney is finished with their season. After a week 1 stumble, they went the rest of the way and locked up a playoff spot. This team is the one most thought would win the flight. Greenhill is still undefeated but has two matches remaining. They can finish anywhere from first to third mathematically. In reality, the play the last place team and another near the bottom team. They would have to lose both; Brookhaven would have to win and catch them on lines. I like Greenhill to win this flight after beating the two also-rans.
Flight B: High Point has wrapped up one slot. TBarM beat Canyon Creek but High Point beat TBM. TBM cannot catch High Point so they need High Point to beat Canyon Creek to advance. Canyon Creek needs to beat High Point decisively to win the flight but needs to merely beat them to make the playoffs. Considering, this has been the most talked about match since the beginning of the season, both teams should be jacked up. I like Canyon Creek to win. I say that because they have more to play for not because I think they are necessarily better.
Finally, 18+ Rosters are due March 5th. That is a week from Wednesday. You must have 8 or the DTA will remove your team.