Boys’ tennis season preview

Andover
Coach: Mike Johnson
Outlook: Under first-year head coach Mike Johnson, the Huskies return junior captains Erik Jones and Grant Johnson along with senior captain Bobby Munoz. Johnson, who coached under now retired Hall of Fame coach Ken Peterson with the Blaine girls’ team and with the Anoka boys’ team, said Andover should be competitive in every match.

Anoka
Coach: Chad Fellows
Outlook: A very young Tornadoes group means many returning players for this season as they look to improve on a 3-15 record and a first-round exit in sections.

“Most players have been taking tennis drills, lessons and playing tournaments to get ready for the season,” Anoka coach Chad Fellows said as he prepares for his fifth season as head coach. “All the returning players are key for this year. We will need every player to be successful.”

Fellows has added Anoka graduate and current St. Cloud State University senior Matt Schatza to his staff. He comes in with a tennis background and helps run the summer tennis programs in Anoka.

Returning captains Brent Verke and Joey Evanold added Jake Johnson to the captaincy this spring.

Tyler Bratt

Tyler Bratt

Blaine
Coach: Jody Cullen
Outlook: Blaine is coming off a 6-10 record and sixth-place finish in the Northwest Suburban Conference with most of its line-up intact. Captains for the new season include Dallin Ingalls, Ryan Carney and Andrew Kent, who will look to reach deeper than the second round of team sections this spring. The Bengals should be helped by a foreign exchange student from Brazil, who will add depth to the squad.

Coon Rapids
Coach: Scott Storrick
Outlook: Fourth-seeded Cardinals fell to No. 1 seed Mounds View in the Section 5AA semifinals and finished the season with a 13-7 team record. Coon Rapids will look toward captain Matt Tellander (15-9 record) to lead from the top singles spot after playing at third and fourth singles in addition to all of the doubles team positions last season.

Captain Matt Moorehouse composed an 8-12 record last season playing first through third doubles. Expect him to step up and lead the top doubles squad.

Alex Kruchten went 14-8 last season at third doubles, while Kendall Setts was 7-12 at third and fourth singles and all of the doubles positions as a ninth grader. Look for freshman Bobby Yang to step into the line up and have an impact immediately on the varsity team.

“Players will have to be consistent and smart to win their matches,” Storrick said after graduating six last season, four of whom are now playing at the college level.
“This team has big shoes to fill,” he said. “Whoever can do the right things quickest will play in the line-up.”

Spring Lake Park
Coach: Mark Fierst
Outlook: The Panthers will have a new top singles player after graduating Anh Doan last season from the team that went 9-13 overall and 5-5 in the North Suburban Conference. Captains include seniors Jake Ponto and Long Nguyen with junior David Tran.

“In order for our team to reach the same level of previous year’s success, a number of people will have to step up their play,” Coach Mark Fierst. The Panthers should have a balanced line-up that can compete at singles and doubles.

St. Francis did not return a season preview.

Compiled by Jason Olson

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