La Cañada boys' tennis has had a rivalry with league champion San Marino for as long as Head Coach Will Moravec can remember.
That's quite a while, since Moravec has been coaching for the Spartans for 16 years.
This could be the year, however. The Spartan line-up features a variety of players and talent on the court.
"We have deep team this year," said Moravec. "That's new for La Cañada."
The team lost three seniors from last year's roster, including their number one singles player and doubles team. But a talented new freshman class is expected to lend a competitive edge to La Cañada, who finished as Rio Hondo's No. 3 last year after San Marino and Temple City claimed No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.
Early injuries affected the Spartan's current first and third singles players.
Edwim Kim, junior, has now recovered from an injured toe and Ian Fang, sophomore, is expected to return shortly after suffering a bruised hip.
Both were out for La Cañada's cross-town contest at Crescenta Valley last week, but freshman Greg Lee and Trent Jones and senior Paul Chung picked up the slack to help the Spartans to an 11-7 victory over the Falcons.
"CV is a bigger school and they have more depth usually," said Moravec. "But my players did not miss a beat."
La Cañada has been playing home matches at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club for about ten years since their campus courts were used for construction storage during a building remodel. The courts have not been refinished since.
"Most public and school courts are older and play much faster," Moravec said. "Sometimes it takes some transition at away matches."
The difference did not seem to matter to the Spartans at last week's match. They hope to carry their energy into league play, beginning against South Pasadena on March 23 at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club. The team then hosts rival San Marino on March 27.