Pacer boys tennis team boasts experience

by: VERN UYETAKE Ben Brewer is one of the top returners on a very strong Lakeridge boys tennis team that only lost three seniors last year.

The Lakeridge boys tennis team lost just three players from last year's team which tied for the Three Rivers League championship and figures to be as strong as it was last year if not stronger.

With limited court time this year due to bad weather, coach Andy Hunt is still experimenting with his line-up but he has plenty of talented options.

"We have a lot of players with similar abilities. There's a lot of depth all the way down to our JV team," Hunt said.

Hunt expects to use a number of players in both singles and doubles in early season matches to see where players are most comfortable.

At No. 1 singles, the Pacers will likely be either Ben Brewer or Michael Chen, both of whom are seniors and have been on varsity for four years.

And the Pacers have seven more returning varsity players who will all play major roles in both singles or doubles this year.

Those players are Zach Calo, Evan Brown, Chris Deal, Sam Manning, Chris Hamilton, Charlie Kachel and Eric Roessler.

"We're going to try lots of different combinations. Eventually it'd be nice to figure out a line-up and stick with it but right now the guys just have to be ready to go," Hunt said.

New players to varsity Charlie Layton, Matt Stockamp and Jack Laupze also have plenty of talent.

The team looks very similar to last year's and is one of the more veteran squads in the league.

"We have a lot of experienced guys and it's a good group," Hunt said.

The Pacers should be very competitive again this year but haven't been able to see much competition in the preseason with the bad weather.

Lakeridge is scheduled to take on West Linn at home on Friday. West Linn and Lake Oswego should both be solid again this season along with Grant.

"We're hoping that all of the rain is out of the way now because the kids are just dying to get out on the court," Hunt said.