SAINT IGNATIUS' TENNIS PREVIEW.
NEW HEAD COACH JON BARKER GIVES US A LOOK AT THE 2011 WILDCATS.
SENIOR JAMES OLIVER LEADS WHAT COACH BARKER DESCRIBES AS A FUN AND EXCITING ATMOSPHERE.
NOTE: THE WILDCATS' TRACK AND FIELD PREVIEW WAS POSTED THIS MORNING (SEE STORY BELOW) AND THE 'CATS' BASEBALL PREVIEW WAS POSTED ON 3/21/11.
TENNIS PREVIEW POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER ON 3/25/11 AT 9:19 P.M.
As he embarks on his first season as Saint Ignatius' head varsity tennis coach, former assistant Jon Barker '87 says he and his staff are still rounding out the lineup.
“While some positions are pretty easy to decide, we have a number of talented younger guys competing hard for the last few spots,” Coach Barker said. “Overall, we're a young team with a new head coach, so it's a fun and exciting atmosphere.”
Leading the 2011 Wildcats will be senior co-captain and Lafayette recruit James Oliver.
Saint Ignatius' Most Valuable Player last season, a three-time district qualifier and a Northeast Ohio Great Lakes Region All-Scholastic selection, Oliver compiled the top record at singles in 2010 – 18-2 in the regular season and an overall mark, including the postseason tournament, of 27-8.
Senior Mike Nichols, the 'Cats' other co-captain, returns after posting the best record at first doubles last spring, 14-5 and 17-9 overall. Mike was chosen as Saint Ignatius' Most Improved Player in 2010.
Also returning are senior Mark Goergy (11-4, 12-7 at 2nd doubles) and sophomore Sean Frebes, who was 13-7 and 19-11 overall last year at second singles. All of the records posted were compiled from the Saint Ignatius 2010 Tennis Guide Wrapup.
"Junior Chad Burton (13-6, 16-10), another doubles player on last year's team, hurt his knee right before the season and just had surgery to repair it two weeks ago,” said Coach Barker. “Unfortunately, he's out for the year.
“On a happier note, freshmen Christian Zuber and Yaw Boakye bring some young talent and tournament experience to the squad. After that, we have about four sophomores and one more freshman who improved a lot over the last year and are looking to make their mark.”
Coach Barker emphasized that he and his assistant coaches – Dr. Jerry McKeever '66, Jim Cogan '62 and Cindy Reagan (JV Coach) are very excited about this season and the future.
The Wildcats' tennis program is coming off a year in which the varsity and junior varsity teams were a combined 29-5, including a 14-1 effort by the junior varsity.
“Our schedule is about as tough as I could make it,” Coach Barker said. “To become the best team we can, we'll need to play the toughest opponents. In addition to some of our usual tough matches (Westlake, Walsh Jesuit, Hudson, University School, St. Edward), we've added a number of new schools to the schedule, including Shaker Heights, Orange, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy and North Canton Hoover."
Saint Ignatius is scheduled to open its season on Wednesday (March 30) at Strongsville. For a look at the complete schedule, go to www.ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on tennis, which is on the left hand side of the page.