Prep boys tennis preview: 5 storylines to watch

Jackson’s streak, Shoreline dominance and longtime coaches leaving are among interesting subplots.

1 Timberwolves hunt for 50 straight. Jackson has been nothing short of dominant on the tennis court over the past two seasons. The Timberwolves have racked up 35 straight wins since suffering their last loss — a 4-3 defeat against Snohomish in 2015. The team closed that season with two wins and followed it with back-to-back undefeated campaigns, outscoring its opponents 238-19 over that time. In order to hit the 50-win plateau, the Timberwolves will have to make it through their third straight unbeaten season. The Timberwolves passed two early tests, getting by Shorewood 4-3 to open their season before blanking Snohomish 7-0 two days later. Another tough matchup looms when Jackson heads to Shorecrest on Sept. 12, giving the Timberwolves their third brutal opponent in their first five matches.

2 Edmonds-Woodway could break dominance of Shoreline schools

Either Shorewood or Shorecrest has won the Wesco 3A South title in each season since the Class 3A schools split into North and South divisions before the 2012-2013 school year. That could change this season, as the Warriors started their season with an impressive 6-1 win over defending Wesco 3A North champion Snohomish. Both Shorewood and Shorecrest have lost their top player from a season ago but return many players with varsity experience. It should be a tight, three-team race atop the South standings.

3 Long-time coaches hang up their cllipboards

Wesco 3A North lost 68 years of coaching experience with the departure of two program stalwarts. Dick Jansen, who coached boys and girls tennis at Snohomish for the past 48 years, resigned after leading both the boys and girls tennis teams to Wesco 3A North titles this past school year. He’ll be replaced by junior varsity coach Ben Doucette, who was the head coach of Snohomish’s girls team in the 90s. “One of his just amazing strengths is he can remember names and players and matches and match scores from 15, 20 years ago,” Doucette said of Jansen. “I mean, he has an amazing memory for people and players. He’s just a tennis encyclopedia.” Oak Harbor says goodbye to Horace Mells, who was at the helm of the boys and girls programs for the past 20 seasons. Tino Gutierrez will take over the reins for Oak Harbor after six years as an assistant on Mells’ staff.

4 A change in Wesco 3A’s conference scheduling

In previous years, Wesco 3A North and South teams played each team from their respective divisions twice (North schools 12 total matches and South schools 10) and filled out the rest of their 16-match schedules with non-conference opponents. That will change in 2018, as 3A schools switch to a six-match conference slate. The addition of Archbishop Murphy to the Wesco 3A South gives each division seven teams apiece in 2018. Doucette said the schedule change also gives traditionally stronger tennis programs more of an opportunity to see tougher opponents throughout the year to prepare their players for the postseason.

5 Cougars building from the ground up in program’s first year

For the first time in the school history, Lakewood has a boys tennis team. The school has had a girls program for over 20 years, but there was never much of a reason to start a boys program while competing in the Cascade Conference because only a couple of other schools in the league had programs. Lakewood moved into the Northwest Conference to start the 2017-18 school year, which has many boys tennis programs, and the Cougars’ new school came with upgraded tennis facilities. The Cougars are hoping to increase their participation numbers from 13 to 23 as the school year begins, in order to field full varsity and junior varsity teams. Lakewood played its first match of the season Tuesday at home against Arlington, and Cougars coach Bob Walker, who’s coached the girls team for a combined 14 seasons in two stints, said it was exciting to see a nice turnout of fans for the program’s inaugural match.

—Zac Hereth, Herald writer

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Tyler Cronk performs in the slam dunk competition during the Everett 3on3 tournament in downtown Everett, Washington on Sunday, July 14, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Recap, videos and photos: 2024 Everett 3on3 was another slam dunk

Everett alumni place second; skills contests, food trucks and vendors were also in full swing this past weekend to celebrate the basketball tournament’s third edition.

Kamiak High School’s Victor Sanchez Hernandez Jr. puts on a University of Washington football helmet. Sanchez Hernandez, a three-star defensive end who’s heading into his senior season, committed to the Huskies. (Photo courtesy of Victory Sanchez Hernandez Jr.)
High school football recruiting: Here’s how Washington’s 2025, 2026 classes are shaping up

TNT sports reporter Jon Manley spoke with national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman.

From left to right: Arlington’s Kierra Reese and Stanwood’s Ellalee Wortham, Ava DePew and Presley Harris. The foursome, called “Awesome Mix 12,” won the High School Elite division in 2023 and returned to Spokane Hoopfest this year to claim the Women’s Competitive division title. (Photo courtesy Sarah Reese)
Winter Wesco rivals, summer hoopfest champions

Arlington’s Kierra Reese and Stanwood’s Ava DePew, Presley Harris and Ellalee Wortham teamed up to win back-to-back 3-on-3 titles.

Louisville guard Hailey Van Lith found little room between South Carolinas Destiny Littleton (11) and Laeticia Amihere. (Carlos Gonzalez / Star Tribune)
These Olympians in the 2024 Paris Games have ties to Washington state

Nineteen athletes competing in France are from The Evergreen State.

UW Husky rowing will be well-represented in Paris at 2024 Olympics

The U.S. eight competes in heat racing on July 29 with finals on Aug. 3.

Once an MLB bust, Mill Creek’s Travis Snider now hopes to change toxic culture

When Snider made it to the big leagues in 2008 at just 20 he was one of the game’s top prospects, touted as the Blue Jays’ next great hitter.

Golden Knights center Chandler Stephenson (20) skates with the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Flames at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Chandler Stephenson’s deal about broader Kraken goals rather than dollar value

The former Golden Knights centerman signed a seven-year deal for $6.25 million with Seattle last week.

Seattle Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh (29) celebrates his two-run home run with a trident as he high fives teammates during the first inning against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, in Arlington, Texas. (Elías Valverde II / Tribune News Service)
Statistics show just how terrible Mariners’ offense has been | Analysis

Seattle leads the AL West, but situational hitting has been a setback.

Chandler Fry makes a short birdie putt on Hole 6 on Kayak Point Disc Golf Resort’s Red Course. Fry is a professional from Olympia, Wash., and he has tallied 31 career wins. He will be one of the players in this year’s Mixed Pro Open (MPO) division. (Photo courtesy Andy Jaynes)
Disc golf tournament to bring hundreds of competitors to Kayak Point

The fourth annual Kayak Point Open will feature some of the best players in the state and the region this weekend.

Everett AquaSox outfielder Lazaro Montes, the Seattle Mariners’ No. 4 ranked prospect, smiles while running onto the field prior to Everett’s game against the Spokane Indians on June 26, 2024 at Funko Field. (Photo courtesy Evan Morud / Everett AquaSox)
AquaSox week in review: Big-prospect Montes one stop closer to dream

RJ Schreck and Will Schomberg lead split against Vancouver.

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Logan Gilbert throws in the first inning against the Cleveland Guardians on April 7, 2023, at Progressive Field. (John Kuntz / Tribune News Service)
Mariners righty Logan Gilbert earns first MLB All-Star nod

Gilbert has made 18 starts this season and averages 6.5 innings per start, the highest in the AL.

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Bryan Woo #33 reacts after striking out San Francisco Giants’ Casey Schmitt #6 in the second inning of their MLB game at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, July 3, 2023. Woo played for Alameda High School. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group)
Mariners’ Bryan Woo, Gregory Santos in line for rehab outings with Everett AquaSox

The 24-year-old pitcher has been on the injured list since June 25, and his next rotation is Saturday.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.