Auproux winning the right way

Garrett Auproux has seen his share of bad behavior and inappropriate outbursts from opponents during his years playing high school and tournament boys' tennis.

The Burroughs High sophomore has competed against athletes who have used foul language, thrown their equipment, used tactics to cheat and generally act like spoiled brats during matches.

But Auproux doesn't fit in that category.

The singles standout takes a much more subdued approach to his game.

"I just really try and keep my cool and not try and lose it when I play," Auproux said. "I have seen players who throw their rackets or yell out stuff, but that doesn't really help your game. That's just not the way that I am. I just don't get caught up in all of that stuff. I just focus on my game and I try and win as many matches as I can."

Longtime Burroughs Coach Roy Bernhardt said it is refreshing to see a player like Auproux, who along with being a consistent player, strives to play the game the right way.

"He was the captain of the team, and the great thing about him is he is always upbeat," Bernhardt said. "He is definitely not about drama. He is such a gracious loser. When he gets beat he doesn't make a scene and he doesn't get upset. In turn, he's also a gracious winner. He doesn't pound his chest and belittle someone who he's beaten.

"When he plays against a player who obviously doesn't have the same skills as Garrett, he doesn't try and embarrass him or show him up."

It was that demeanor that helped Auproux enjoy a great deal of success during the 2011 season. He was a driving force for Burroughs, accumulating a 44-3 record on a squad that also enjoyed the finest postseason run in the history of the program. The Indians, who placed second in the Pacific League, pulled off some upsets and advanced to the semifinals of the Division II playoffs, losing to eventual-champion Paul Desert, 14-4.

Auproux also won the Pacific League singles title and advanced to the round of 16 in the CIF Southern Section Individual Tournament.

It is because of those accomplishments that Auproux has been voted the 2011 All-Area Boys' Singles Tennis Player of the Year by the writers and editors of the Burbank Leader, Glendale News-Press and La Cañada Valley Sun.

When reigning league singles champion Robert Henry decided not to rejoin Burroughs for his senior season, it looked as if the Indians would be adversely affected by the absence of who would have been their No. 1 singles player.

However, Burroughs was competitive in league play, losing twice to eventual champion Arcadia by identical 10-8 scores.

"It would have been great to win a league title, but I think it was better that we just had a great time and had a great experience," Auproux said.

In the league tournament, Auproux had little trouble disposing of Hoover's Oleg Simonyan, 6-2, 6-0, to capture the singles championship.

The Indians' biggest accomplishment of the season, however, was the run it made in the playoffs.

Despite not being ranked among the top 10 teams in the division going into the playoffs, the Indians persevered, pulling off a major upset on their way to securing a spot in the semifinals for the first time ever.

Burroughs' best postseason run prior to last season came in 2008, when a Trevor Campbell and Henry-led squad fell in the quarterfinals to San Luis Obispo, 13-5.

Burroughs advanced to the semifinals this year after pulling out a 10-8 win in the quarterfinals against Beverly Hills. The Indians also upset No. 5 Villa Park, 10-8, and opened the playoffs with a 14-4 victory against Oxnard.

"It was a lot of fun with the guys this year." Auproux said. "I think a lot of people didn't really expect us to do that well, but I think we surprised some people. Although we lost in the semifinals, we had fun in the playoffs.

"I was hurt a little during the season, and it was kind of a bummer that I didn't get to play some of the matches. But I had a great time and I think I played pretty well."

In the individual playoffs, the sophomore advanced to the round of 32 with a win at the Whittier Narrows Tennis Center in El Monte, setting up a place for Auproux in the difficult round of 16.

In the round of 16 at the Seal Beach Tennis Center, Auproux ran into a tough opponent in third-seeded Glore Parker of Marina. Unfortunately for Auproux, he was defeated, 6-3, 7-5.

Auproux, who is nationally ranked and routinely plays in tournaments across the nation, said the level of play definitely increased as he tried to navigate through the rounds of the playoffs.

"Almost all of the guys you play against are nationally ranked, and they are guys who also play in all the big tournaments," he said. "The competition was definitely tough."

In his opening playoff match, Auproux started out strong against Christopher Grant of Santa Barbara, winning, 6-1, 6-3.

With two more seasons left at Burroughs, Auproux has a lot more high school tennis in front of him. He is looking forward to what lies ahead.

"I really like playing for Burroughs," he said. "Just being a part of the team is great. I think that we should continue to be successful next year."

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