Texas is represented by a tough Austin team that is driven by an unstoppable force at #1 singles. And if I have to have one player, I'd like him to be an unstoppable force at #1 singles. Don't really have to worry as much about who he draws.
Flight 5 has Midwest, Caribbean, Northern California, New England and Hawaii. Caribbean isn't the powerhouse at 4.5 that it is at 3.0 and 3.5. Hawaii has surprised on the upside at 4.5 before but NoCal has to be the favorite here.
Flight 6 has Middle States, Texas, Southern California and Eastern. Ouch. Texas, Middle States and SoCal are all tough to get through. Juan Dekruyff from the Austin team has sailed through the season and the most interesting thing for me to watch will be how he does at nationals. He has rocked some very good players in Texas. Austin beat San Angelo in sectionals finals 3-2 but both losses were in three sets. The Texas/SoCal match will be huge but sooner or later I've got to take Texas.
Flight 7 is Mid-Atlantic, Northern, Southwest and Pacific NW. Mid-Atlantic has had some success at this level before but this team is a bit of a mystery. This is a pick 'em.
Flight 8 is Southern, Florida, Intermountain and Missouri Valley. The haves and the have nots. Southern and Florida duke it out but Southern is my pick.
3.5s - Tucson, that should be punishment enough.
Fight 5 has the five team flight of Pacific NW, Hawaii, Southwest, Southern California and Missouri Valley. I'd have to look at PacNW or SoCal to take this flight but don't overlook Southwest when you get into these old guy formats.
Flight 6 has New England, Northern, Eastern and Mid-Atlantic. Sorry but I wouldn't expect any of these teams to make the semis if they weren't all in the same flight together. Maybe one of them will surprise. I'll take Mid-Atlantic for no particular reason.
Texas is in flight 7 along with Southern, Eastern, Florida and Mid-Atlantic. That's a pretty solid flight. Can't imagine why Caribbean isn't in there with Texas and Southern. I also like to look at Florida for old guy events, just the law of averages. Let's go with Southern here.
Flight 8 has Middle States, Northern California, Caribbean and Midwest. Another respectable flight. I'll take this flight winner to at least make the finals. NorCal is always tough, but if it's 3.5 or 3.0, you have to go through Caribbean. They aren't as dominant at the age levels as they are at 18s but they did just win the national title at 3.0 over 40 last weekend.
For those of you that may not recall, 3.5 over 40s was an all San Antonio final. The team that won cities ended up getting beat by Wild San Antonio in sectionals finals. While both teams looked pretty strong on paper, I'm going to shy away from picking Texas in this division.