Coaches for the Boulder City High School’s boys tennis program expect it to be among the top contenders for this season’s 3A state championship after winning back-to-back titles.
Looking to claim their third consecutive state championship, the Eagles bring back an experienced core that went 20-0 in league play last season.
“Experience is really big — not only knowing how to play but getting used to the pressure that comes with being on a team that everyone is chasing,” head coach Rachelle Huxford said. “Our guys know what it feels like to have this pressure. Going to the state tournament the past few years definitely gives them an advantage.”
The doubles tandem of seniors Boen Huxford and Preston Jorgensen return for the Eagles, with senior singles competitors Connor Mikkelson and Bretton Erlanger. Senior Ty Pendleton also returns to help the Eagles in either singles or doubles, depending on the team’s need.
All five players were named All-Southern Region first-team selections last season.
Back for an encore season, Boen Huxford and Jorgensen return after claiming their first individual state title last season, while Mikkelson finished as the state runner-up.
“We’re both really confident that we can go back to the individual state tournament,” Boen Huxford said. “There’s definitely some pressure to get back there and repeat as doubles champions, but it’s good pressure. It makes us want to do better than we did last season.”
Pendleton finished as a state runner-up in doubles play at state, while Erlanger lost in the quarterfinals.
Looking to schedule the best opponents they can to prepare their team, the Eagles will open their season on the road at 4A Foothill on Aug. 22, before hosting 4A Basic on Aug. 26. Their toughest match of the season comes Aug. 29 against perennial 3A power The Meadows, which the Eagles have beaten the past two seasons in the state championship game.
“It’s tough replaying the state championship match right out of the gate,” Rachelle Huxford said. “It rough for both teams because your biggest competition comes at the beginning of the season. We’re hopeful our matches against Foothill and Basic will help us get some of the early season jitters out and let us work through some things with our lineup.”
Going undefeated the past two seasons, the Eagles will look to make it a third consecutive season despite their gantlet of tough matches to begin the season.
“There’s definitely pressure for us to go undefeated again,” Rachelle Huxford said. “I also think losing makes you a better winner and makes you hungrier, so either way whatever comes down during our first couple matches will help make us a better team in the end.”
Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.