If recent history holds true, the District 10-4A tennis tournament this weekend should be little more than a tuneup for Highland Park.
The Scots have bigger goals in mind this spring, namely a repeat of their effort from a year ago at the Class 4A state tournament in Austin, where HP tied its own state record by winning titles in four of the five classifications.
“I’m hoping that we can do that again,” said HP head coach Dan Holden. “I think we’ve got a legitimate shot.”
But that opportunity is a few weeks away. First, the focus is on the district tournament, which begins Friday at Fair Oaks Tennis Center. The action shifts to Highland Park for the semifinals and finals on Saturday morning.
“We’re the favorites to win and finish second in every category at this point,” Holden said. “Any time you get into the playoffs, you want to start off well and progress on through the state championship.”
HP will have two entries in each of the five brackets. They include:
- Boys singles — Cole Hausman and Matt Wojtaszek
- Girls singles — Chandler Carter and Caitlyn Frankel
- Boys doubles — Hunter Holman/Connor LaFavre and Gardiner Perotti/Harrison Buford
- Girls doubles — Elizabeth Porter/Margo Taylor and Elizabeth Burgos/Jennifer Mee
- Mixed doubles — Mac McCullough/Elizabeth Tedford and Charlie Legg/Logan Lett
This spring, the Scots have picked up where they left off in the fall team season, when HP won another crown in its final season at the 4A classification. The Scots will move up to the new Class 6A later this year.
“It’s time to put everything together and get that snowball rolling downhill,” Holden said. “We’re heading toward that peak. The kids have worked hard all spring, and I think they’re playing good tennis.”
None of the three state championship doubles teams from 2013 will have the chance to repeat together, although LaFavre won a title a year ago in mixed doubles, while his new partner, Holman, earned gold in boys doubles.
One bracket in which the Scots lack experience is boys singles, a division in which they didn’t even have a state qualifier last season. Both Hausman and Wojtaszek are freshmen that could surprise this time around, Holden said.
“We’re looking for some good things from them, but they are young,” he said.
Holden said the high expectations this month for HP stem from the program’s consistent performance in years past.
“That’s something we talk about all the time. Every class that comes in has to be mindful of the tradition, and what they’ve been handed by their brothers and sisters before them,” Holden said. “They embrace that. They expect to win. It’s definitely about winning championships around here.”