by: VERN UYETAKE Scott Goldner was the district runner-up last season and hopes to capture the Three Rivers League singles crown this year.

The Lake Oswego boys tennis team is loaded with depth this year and returns three state qualifiers from last spring.

The Lakers have no shortage of talent and, early in the season, with court time hard to come by with the poor weather, there is plenty of in team competition for varsity spots.

The Lakers are anchored with a very strong No. 1 singles player and No. 1 doubles tandem.

Scott Goldner returns at singles. He was the runner-up at districts last year, falling only to state champion Zhenya Pereverzin from Clackamas who has now graduated.

"I think winning the league title is Scott's goal. He's really worked hard in the offseason and is considerably faster and stronger," coach Brian Ruffner said.

At No. 1 doubles, Lake Oswego returns Austin Winters and Daniel Cohns a team that should also be in contention for a league title this year.

After that, Ruffner has plenty of options to fill the rest of his roster.

"I think a number of guys are going to get some opportunities," Ruffner said.

In singles, a pair of talented freshmen, David Furman and Avinash Sankar will both make an impact along with returners Reid Martin and Jack Mertens.

The doubles team of Jack Smith and Andrew Tymchenko also returns and will likely play at No. 2 for the Lakers this year.

Other strong doubles teams this year are Brian Knees and Scott Kreager, Mark Engelberg and Jake Bednam and Spencer Lewis and Will Meier. Denny Oh will also fill in for the Lakers on varsity this year.

Lake Oswego should be one of the deepest teams in the league this season and will look to get a strong contingent to state in a more competitive TRL.

"We'd love to get two singles players and two doubles teams through," Ruffner said.

Traditional powers like West Linn and Lakeridge should both be strong again this year. Those three teams all tied for the league title last season.

And Grant and Canby are also strong programs and will bring in solid players.

With the bad weather, the Lakers have been trying to find time to practice indoors and have been working on conditioning and agility training.

The team is scheduled to play a league match this Friday at Clackamas.

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