Even before the Pacific League season, which is set to begin next week, there is a buzz about the Burroughs High boys’ tennis team.
With the influx of two talented freshmen players for the Indians, coupled with a few departures from league-champion Arcadia, Burroughs looks to be the front runner in league.
“With those new players, I don’t think anybody’s going to be able to tough Burroughs,” Burbank Coach Loi Phan said. “Burroughs should be the top team, followed by Arcadia. The rest of us will probably be fighting it out for third.”
The last time the Indians won a league championship was in 2008.
Here is a closer look at how the local programs are shaping up.
The Indians (12-6 last season) are coming off a year in which they placed fourth in league. However, with a potent singles attack this season, the team is looking to move up.
“We have four very good players who could play singles for us,” Burroughs Coach Roy Bernhardt said. “We know because of our singles, some teams might stack their doubles against us.”
Returning to the team is four-year starter and former All-Area Singles Player of the Year Trevor Campbell. In addition, the team also boasts junior Robert Henry.
Usually singles players, Campbell and Henry were teamed up for the Pacific League Tournament last season. They easily breezed to the doubles title, winning their sets, 6-3, 6-0, 6-3, 6-0, 6-0, 6-3 and 6-0, 6-0.
The pair was able to do well in the postseason, advancing to the CIF Southern Section Round of 16.
The duo is likely to turn into a formidable trio with the inclusion of highly touted freshman Garrett Auproux. Bernhardt said the freshman is ranked 30th in the nation in his age group.
“Garrett played Trevor last week and [Auproux] beat him in a tie-breaker,” Bernhardt said. “He is a very good player.”
If that wasn’t enough singles talent, the Indians will also have freshman Michael Whelan. Bernhardt said if Whelan doesn’t play singles, he will lead the doubles corps.
Returning to play doubles are senior twins Troy and Winston Chang and sophomore Philip Lam. Up from junior varsity are seniors Kevin Tieu and Eric Lee. A freshman who could see playing time is Kevin Hoang.
“I have a lot of confidence in our doubles,” Bernhardt said. “We should have a well-rounded team.”
The Bulldogs (11-6) are coming off a season in which they placed third in the Pacific League.
However, gone from that team is Arthur Karagezian, who would have been a senior. Karagezian left school after last season to be home-schooled. He is a two-time Pacific League singles champion and former All-Area Singles Player of the Year.
He is currently playing in Assn. of Tennis Professionals future tournaments and intends to play in college at Loyola Marymount University.
“Without Arthur, we’re a very young team.” Phan said. “We have some good high school players but we just don’t have any tournament players.”
The team also lost No. 2 singles player Pete Sangsuriyakul to graduation.
The only returning singles player is No. 3 Kahree Bellow, a senior, who will have to hold down the top spot this season.
Also returning will be singles players Alex Lee, a sophomore, and senior Jonathan San Marino. In doubles, junior Arthur Kuvko also returns.
Up from the junior varsity is sophomore James Hong, who will join freshmen Clayton Tauff and Keon Park on the doubles teams.
“We just have the two seniors, and all the rest are mostly ninth- and 10th-graders,” Phan said. “We are just going to see how they respond.”