Five boys tennis players to watch this season

  • Mon Sep 10th, 2012 4:50pm
  • Sports

By David Krueger Herald Writer

Patrick Chung, Cascade, Jr.

In his second year at No. 1 singles, Chung made it to – and won a match at – the 4A state tournament. The Cascade co-captain hopes to return to the postseason tournament in his junior year (and beyond). Not only is Chung dedicated to improving his game, he also works with other Bruins players to help them get better. Cascade head coach Ashley Layton calls him a “coach’s dream.” “Patrick is a team leader,” Layton said. “Patrick pulls aside some of the younger players and will give them tips. He definitely is a team player.”

Patrick Luangrath, Glacier Peak, So.

Luangrath completed a 10-6 season at No. 2 singles as a freshman for the Glacier Peak team last year. He teamed with another Grizzly for the district tournament, and the two fell just shy of making the state tournament – finishing behind three teams of all seniors. He’s spent the summer playing in local clubs and entering into tournaments, prompting Glacier Peak coach Micah Perron to note the incredible improvement in Luangrath’s game. “I see Patrick as a definite contender to go to state this season in singles,” Perron said. “With a very talented class of seniors leaving last year, he just may be the top dog going into the season this year.”

Ben Mietzner, Jackson, So.

Mietzner has made the jump from No. 3 singles – as a freshman – to No. 1 singles for the Timberwolves this season as Jackson looks to continue it’s remarkable unbeaten streak. The Timberwolves haven’t lost a team match in three years. Mietzner did exceptionally well last season and, after playing quite a bit this summer, has jumped to the top of the ladder. “I don’t think Ben lost a match at three singles last year as a freshman,” Jackson coach David Hutt said. He is being challenged by Peter Cung, another strong player, for that No. 1 spot, in Jackson’s early practices. “I can’t emphasize how close they are. It’s a battle down to the wire,” Hutt said. “We’re very fortunate to have that issue.”

Sung Yu, Kamiak, Sr.

Sung Yu is not only a strong player to watch for Kamiak, he also may be the Knights’ biggest surprise coming into the season. Kamiak’s No. 3 singles player last season, Yu has come into the season remarkable improved, which has left a strong impression on Knights’ coach Vic Alinen. “I think he’s going to be one of the top three singles players in the (Wesco) South this year. He committed himself to get better, and has a strong desire to improve.” Yu –who is going to the Military Academy at West Point after graduation – is never out of a match according to Alinen. “He’s a military guy. He’s a warrior,” Alinen said. “He’s gets it. And he brings it. … He’s like David in the battle of David and Goliath. A lot of guys might seem better and bigger, but he will win because he plays with courage on the court.”

Jonathan Wolf, Stanwood, Sr.

The Stanwood senior played No. 2 singles last year for the Spartans, before teaming up with teammate Eric Saekow for the league tournament. The duo made it to the district tournament where they were eliminated. “He’s looking a lot better,” Stanwood head coach Trudy Abrams said. “I think we’re looking pretty strong.” This season Wolf will again start the year solo, as the No. 1 singles player for Stanwood – which finds itself in the 3A classification this season. Abrams doesn’t know what the change will mean in terms of competition, but she’s excited to see her team in action. “We won’t know till we get out there and play them,” Abrams said. “But our team as a whole is pretty solid this year.”