BURBANK — Burroughs High boys' tennis Coach Roy Bernhardt agrees with Burbank Coach Loi Phan about which team should we the toughest to beat this season in the Pacific League.
"Arcadia is going to be tough as nails," said Bernhardt, whose team shared the league title last season with the Apaches. "They just seem to have good teams every year."
Said Phan: "Arcadia should be the best team in league by far. I don't think that anyone is probably going to come close to them."
The teams don't have much time to prepare for league play. The Indians have the daunting task of opening league Tuesday against Arcadia, while Burbank will open against Hoover.
Here is a look at how the teams are shaping up.
The Indians lost two of their top players, Trevor Campbell and Robert Henry, from last season. Campbell graduated and is now at Glendale Community College and Henry, the All-Area Singles Player of the Year last season, decided not to come out for the team for his senior season.
However, the team does return talented singles player Garrett Auproux, a sophomore. Auproux was the league runner-up in singles in 2010.
"Garrett has gotten taller, gotten stronger and he has just been hitting the heck out of the ball," Bernhardt said.
The coach is excited about a pair of newcomers — sophomore Lin Wen and freshman Calvin Fox — who will both play singles.
"I'm hoping these two new guys will help us replace the two we lost from last year," Bernhardt said.
Also returning are sophomores Michael Whelan and Kevin Hoang, juniors Philip Lam and seniors Oscar Lam, Brian Hoang and Eric Lee.
Phan, whose team placed fifth last season and just missed the postseason, said he is hoping his team will snatch a playoff spot this season.
"After Arcadia, I think it will be Burroughs," he said. "But after that, it will probably be us, [Crescenta Valley] and Hoover fighting for spots."
The Bulldogs should have a competitive doubles team in returning sophomores Keon Park and Clayton Pauff. Phan said he will also look for junior James Hong to contribute.
Seniors Kenneth and Kevin Banares should also be key players for Burbank.
"We are going to be young, that's for sure," Phan said, "But I'm hoping that we're going to be able to be competitive.
"After that group of guys, we have another group competing for spots."