The Burroughs High boys’ tennis team put together the most successful season in program history in 2011.
Along with finishing runner-up in the Pacific League, the Indians made a deep playoff run. Pulling off some upsets along the way, Burroughs advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division II semifinals, falling to eventual champion Palm Desert, 14-4.
Although the squad lost some key doubles players to graduation, the Indians could be even more successful this season, including vying for the league championship.
“I think they have a good chance at getting to the CIF finals,” Burbank Coach Loi Phan said of his rival. “I’d be disappointed if they didn’t at least get to the semis.”
With the season beginning later this week, here is a look at how the teams are shaping up.
“We’re looking pretty good,” Indians Coach Roy Bernhardt said. “I call this my dream team. Not just because we have good players but because they all get along so well together.”
The Indians return their best player from a year ago, junior Garrett Auproux. In 2011, Auproux — the All-Area Singles Player of the Year — captured the Pacific League singles championship and advanced to the round of 16 in the CIF Southern Section Individual Tournament.
“If he stays healthy, Garrett should just buzz through the league,” Bernhardt said. “He’s been playing tournaments in the 18s now and his ranking has gone way up.”
Returning to bolster the singles are sophomore Calvin Fox and junior Michael Whelan. But a newcomer, freshman Sawyer Paterson, who Bernhardt said is battling for the No. 2 spot, should give the team depth.
In doubles, the Burroughs duo of Oscar Lam and Wen Yao Lin took the league crown in doubles. Lam graduated and is playing at Glendale Community College, but Lin returns for his junior season.
Also holding down the doubles are senior Philip Lam and junior Kevin Hoang. Newcomers senior Sebastian Larenas and junior Zachary Maina could also make impacts.
“I expect us to be right up there with Arcadia for the league title,” Bernhardt said.
The Bulldogs are coming off a season in which they placed fourth in the Pacific League.
“We got most of our guys back from last season,” Phan said. “We have a good first group of players and we have some players who will be trying to earn spots.”
Among the returners are juniors Clayton Pauff and Keon Park. Although the two played singles last season, Phan teamed them up in doubles for the league tournament a year ago. This season, Pauff will play singles and Park will play doubles.
Also returning is senior James Hong, who will also play singles.
Two other players Phan hopes will make impacts are senior Jonathan Lee and junior Tahj Bellow.
“Those are pretty much our main guys,” Phan said. “The other spots will pretty much be [junior varsity] players trying to make the team.”
Phan said he thinks Burroughs should be the favorite to win the league championship.