Of all the fall sports, tennis season is the shortest. Regional 8 4A action begins this Friday morning at Canyon View Park in Grand Junction.
In Colorado prep tennis, schools compete either in Class 4A or 5A, based on the number of students.
Of the eight schools competing in Region 8, Hotchkiss with 239 students and Cedaredge (267) are the smallest.
Of the 75 schools in Class 4A, only nine have fewer than 300 registered students; 28 teams have more than 1,000 students, including Region 8 teams Montrose and Durango.
Of the seven teams competing in Region 8, neither Hotchkiss nor Cedaredge have faced Steamboat Springs or Durango this season.
The numbers alone put the small schools at a big disadvantage, but it hardly keeps them from giving the other teams a good run. This season, all three Hotchkiss singles players have posted winning records. Senior 1 singles Tony Ibarra enters regional competition with a 6-5 record after defeating a Grand Junction JV player and losing to Aspen in last week's final matches of league competition. The Skiers won the match, 7-0.
That was pretty much expected, said head coach Brian Benson.
No. 2 singles Brydie Mitchell and 3 singles Azure Eller are at 7-3 after their losses to Aspen. Mitchell, a senior, won, 4-6, 6-4, 1-5, over Grand Junction JV last week, while Eller lost for a second time to Grand Junction's Sam Shaver.
The Bulldogs' No. 1 and 2 doubles teams will likely face tough competition in Friday's opening round of regional play. No. 3 doubles Caleb Bayles and Josh Parsons are now 5-1 and have a shot at advancing, as do No. 4 doubles Alex Hulteen and Quentin Varner. Both teams won on Sept. 25 against Grand Junction JV (Hulteen and Varner by default).
Coaches meet Thursday night to determine seeding, which means most players won't know who they'll face until opening matches begin on Friday morning.
The top two placers in each flight advance to next week's state competition.blog comments powered by Disqus