To headband, or not to headband?
Trenton Rhodes sported a white headband Tuesday evening at The Tennis Club Newport Beach. He couldn't quite get his boys' 16 doubles partner, Cameron Harbilas, to do the same.
Finally, midway through the second set, the two Newport Beach residents became one as Harbilas put on his headband.
"He wanted to do it the whole match, but I was like, 'Nah,'" Harbilas said. "Then he said he wouldn't play if I didn't put the headband on, so I had to."
Rhodes and Harbilas, who will both be sophomores at Corona del Mar High, kept it fun in the brief time they were out on court. The headbands, though, ultimately didn't help them in the match at the 25th annual The Tennis Club Junior Tournament, better known as the "War by the Shore."
Ryan Mori and Huws Landsberger of Rancho Palos Verdes topped Rhodes and Harbilas, 6-1, 6-1, in the round of 16 doubles match.
It ended the tournament for Rhodes and Harbilas, who were already eliminated earlier in singles play. But tournaments like these are all about just getting better.
Last year, they played at No. 2 doubles on the CdM boys' tennis junior varsity team. They can be imposing on the court, as both players stand 6-foot-1.
"I think that we played pretty solid [Tuesday]," said Rhodes, who is unrelated to the Trenton Rhodes who was a high school All-American at CdM in the early 1990s. "But, we've identified some things that we need to work on. We hit it a lot to their net players ... we need to work on hitting it to the corners."
Harbilas nodded in agreement.
"As our coach [Jamie Gresh] says, 'Tennis is a game of adjustments,'" Harbilas said. "And we didn't make enough adjustments."
Rhodes and Harbilas are just two of a large contingent of 2014 CdM JV players playing at the War by the Shore. Others include Grant Brown, Matt Paulsen and Sam Roth. Brown watched Harbilas and Rhodes play on Tuesday, before his own doubles match went on. And Paulsen actually defeated Harbilas earlier Tuesday, 6-1, 6-1, in a boys' 16 singles match.
Harbilas said it was tough to play against a teammate. Yet, he and Rhodes hope to continue improving, and possibly make CdM's varsity team as sophomores next year.
Rhodes said he's never met the "other" Trenton Rhodes, yet he provides motivation.
"There's a plaque at Corona del Mar High School that says "Trenton Rhodes, All-American Tennis, 1993,'" he said. "It's been hanging there for as long as I've known. I have never met this Trenton, I've never had any relationship with this Trenton Rhodes. I'm not related. I wish I was. It's the same spelling, same school. Just a coincidence.
"This Trenton Rhodes, he's something I have to live up to almost. I see [the plaque] when I go out to practice, and it's a motivation."
•In other War by the Shore action, No. 2-seeded CdM resident Alexander Reyna has advanced to the boys' 16 quarterfinals. Reyna will play No. 7-seeded Brett Ishihara of Redondo Beach in a quarterfinal Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
Newport Beach resident Danielle Willson is in the girls' 16s quarterfinals. Willson, the No. 4 seed, will play No. 5 Alexia Rodriguez of Cathedral City at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Willson is also in the girls' 18 doubles draw with partner Mackenzie Worsnop of Newport Beach, and the duo will play Bridgette and Audrey Stewart of Apple Valley in a quarterfinal at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Riley Gerdau and Siena Sharf of CdM will play Yin Yak Law and Christy Chan of Hong Kong in a girls' 18 doubles quarterfinal at 5 p.m. Wednesday. All-local girls' doubles teams that begin play in the 16s Wednesday include Emma Butler and Nicole Russell of Newport Coast, Paige and Brooke Kenerson of Newport Beach, as well as Isabelle Dajee and Camellia Edalat of Newport Beach. Another all-local team is in the 14s, Isabella McKinney and Roxanne Mackenzie of Newport Beach.