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Tigers boast some high hopes

Boys tennis: With first-year coach Ryan Denning, Tigard is looking to have a strong season
by: JOHN LARIVIERE, BIG SERVE — Senior Cole Johnson will play at No. 1 doubles for the Tigers.

TIGARD - With first-year coach Ryan Denning leading the way, the Tigard High School boys tennis team is taking an optimistic view into the 2007 Pacific Conference season.

The Tigers, with a number of key returnees back from last year's team that went 5-3 in Pacific-9 Conference dual matches, will be looking for more success this year.

Junior Anthony Breitenbach will be back at No. 1 singles for Tigard. Last year, he qualified for the state tournament after finishing third in singles play at the district tourney.

'He should return this year,' Denning said. 'He's a very good player and our No. 1 singles.'

Sophomore Kevin Xiong will be at No. 2 singles. He picked up a victory at the district tourney last year as a freshman.

'He's very good and his goal is to make it to state this year,' Denning said. 'He has great strokes and the potential to be very good.'

Senior Tyler Minetto will be at No. 3 singles and senior Will Shiau will be at No. 4 singles.

At the No. 1 doubles spot, Tigard has the team of seniors Justin Kau and Cole Johnson.

'They compliment each other very well,' Denning said. 'Justin has a huge serve. Cole is very athletic.'

Brothers Louis Rogers, a senior, and Jeff Rogers, a sophomore, will be at No. 2 doubles.

'They are very entertaining on the court,' Denning said. 'They are able to be honest with each other and not worry about hurting feelings.'

Juniors Jason Hortsch and David MacKay will be at No. 3 doubles.

'They have very good chemistry,' Denning said. 'They have played in really long, tense matches already this year.'

Sophomores Andrew deBlanc and Minson Yeang will be at No. 4 doubles.

As for Denning, he is an Oregon State University graduate with a degree in Exercise and Sports Science. He has been a strength and conditioning coach/personal trainer for Clackamas River Racquet Club in Gladstone for close to 10 years.

'I started playing the game soon after starting at Clackamas and fell in love with it,' he said. 'I hope to take my knowledge and help the kids at Tigard become better athletes and tennis players. So far this season has been a blast.'