Longtime La Cañada High boys' tennis Coach Will Moravec assured that if his 2006 Spartan squad was to experience any kind of success, it would be made possible by a strong doubles contingent.
The Spartans continued their string of CIF postseason appearances and it was in no small way due to doubles, particularly the senior tandem of Erik Johnson and Jeff Pih.
"Usually for La Cañada tennis, it's always been doubles that hold the weight of the team," said Pih, who along with Johnson, posted a 26-7 record this season en route to being voted the All-Area Doubles Team of the Year by the editors and writers of the Burbank Leader, Foothill Leader and Glendale News-Press.
Through part of the season, it wasn't even known if Pih and Johnson would be the best duo on their own team.
That was solidified in the Rio Hondo League tournament.
Battling fellow Spartans Patrick Lu and Sean Kim in the tournament's third-place match, Johnson and Pih prevailed.
"We played very well in the league tournament," Pih said.
The tandem's been playing well together for 2 1/2 years, fueled a great deal by superior chemistry.
"It just kind of worked," Johnson said. "We always had a lot of fun and did well."
Added Pih: "We do have a good chemistry together."
The chemistry showed on and off the tennis court. Johnson and Pih became friends and became their team's No. 1 duo.
"They knew how to get along together on the court," Moravec said. "Usually, when they lost, it was to a better team, not because they beat themselves. That comes with maturity."
Of course in 2006, Pih and Johnson didn't lose all that often.