CHAMPAIGN — Teri Scaggs and her Centennial boys’ tennis assistant coaches, Alex Amatyleon and Randy Cetin, returned only one varsity singles participant for the 2021 season.
Not a shock, contemplating there was no IHSA boys’ tennis in 2020.
It’s a standard predicament for quite a few spring athletic packages.
The Chargers, nevertheless, don’t appear in the least deprived by the state of affairs these days.
“We’ve a group that would doubtlessly win the Huge 12 Convention and sectionals,” Scaggs stated Tuesday morning, hours earlier than Centennial defeated Bloomington 9-0 to stay excellent in duals this season.
“We’re simply attempting to do what we are able to to place ourselves ready to present as many youngsters as potential an opportunity to have the ability to qualify and attend state,” Scaggs continued. “A few of them have the potential to do very well at state.”
The Chargers have sliced and diced their regular-season slate thus far. They defeated Urbana 9-0, Champaign Central 6-3, Mattoon 9-0, Peoria Richwoods 6-3, Uni Excessive 7-2, Regular Group 7-2 and Regular West 9-0 earlier than the aforementioned triumph versus Bloomington.
“It took them to be prepared for the season earlier than they got here in,” Scaggs stated. “The time and dedication forward of time, you don’t at all times get out of your gamers.”
Topping Centennial’s singles draw is freshman Max Braun, who claims wins over Urbana senior Invoice Layton and Uni Excessive senior Zachary Donnini — a pair of former Information-Gazette All-Space first-team choices.
“We weren’t even certain he was going to come back out for the group,” stated Scaggs, including that Braun additionally focuses on United State Tennis Affiliation occasions. “He works arduous. He performs 5 to 6 instances every week. … He’s been an awesome addition.”
Max’s brother, junior James Braun, holds the No. 2 singles slot.
“He has an awesome information of tennis and an awesome ability set,” Scaggs stated of James Braun.
Junior Lino Jo, senior Chris Sarol, senior David Diep and freshman Jason Kim slot into the Nos. 3-6 singles roles, respectively.
Sarol was unbeaten till the Uni Excessive twin, and Diep was lower from the group as a sophomore.
“(Jo, Sarol and Diep) got here into the season having performed quite a bit with one another because the season ended (in 2019),” Scaggs stated. “It was a pleasing shock to know that they had dedicated to that every one alongside.”
Seniors Wilson Andrews, Liam Dee and Hai Diep and junior Sung Joon Choi present doubles choices, whereas senior Ben Kirby hopes to return from an ankle damage earlier than season’s finish.
“We knew to start with the group could be deep,” Scaggs stated. “I’ve simply been impressed with all of them.”
Colin Likas is the preps coordinator at The Information-Gazette. He could be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @clikasNG.