Tennis team aims high

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2006 Steamboat Springs Tennis Schedule

- Aug. 19, vs. Alexander Dawson, 11 a.m.

- Aug. 25, at Kent Denver, 4 p.m.

- Aug. 26, at Greeley West, 10 a.m.

- Aug. 26, vs. Boulder at Greeley West, noon

- Sept. 8, Varsity #2 WSL Tournament in Grand Junction, TBA

- Sept. 8, Varsity #1 at Loveland Tournament, 9 a.m.

- Sept. 9, Varsity #2 WSL Tournament in Grand Junction, TBA

- Sept. 9, Varsity #1 at Loveland Tournament, 9 a.m.

- Sept. 16, at Colorado Academy, 10 a.m.

- Sept. 19, vs. Fruita, 4 p.m.

- Sept. 22, vs. Aspen, 4 p.m.

- Sept. 23, vs. Evergreen, noon

- Oct. 6, Home, Regionals, TBA

- Oct. 7, Home, Regionals, TBA

- Oct. 12, State at Pueblo, TBA

- Oct. 13, State at Pueblo, TBA

- Oct. 14, State at Pueblo, TBA

— Steamboat Springs High School boys tennis coach John Aragon doesn't sound like a guy who lost seven of his 11 varsity players from last year's team.

And why should he?

The Sailors return four solid players from last year's team that finished third at the state tournament. Steamboat has won 11 straight regional titles and brings in two new players from outside Steamboat to round out what Aragon calls "a highly talented team."

"We're going to be good this year," said junior Ramsey Bernard, the team's No. 2 singles player. "As a team, we should be as good as last year if not better."

Senior Andrew Hoing and junior Brian Burger relocated to Steamboat earlier in the year and bring much needed experience to the team.

Hoing comes from Houston, where he played tennis year-round against some of that state's top competition. Hoing said he has been coming to Steamboat for eight years and has played with many of the guys on the team before, so the transition hasn't been hard. The tradition of strong tennis teams at Steamboat, he said, made him want to come here and play.

"It just makes me want to build on that," he said. "They've established a really good team and I think I can build on that."

Hoing will begin the season as the team's No. 1 singles player.

Burger played tennis at Evergreen High School last year where he was on the No.1 doubles team. This year he will be competing for the same spot in Steamboat, as well as the No. 3 singles position.

Aragon credits a large portion of the continued success at Steamboat to the junior programs that prepare the tennis players for high school. Despite losing a majority of the varsity roster from last year, Aragon said Steamboat should battle Aspen and Montrose in the region.

The season may hinge on how the No. 3 singles player and No. 3 and 4 doubles teams do. Aragon said he is comfortable with the way the top players are playing, but said the progress of the lower seeds could be the key component.

"If the young additions work hard and the upperclassmen set the tone, that will be a big ingredient," he said. "At regionals, we have to set high goals and then all 11 have to set goals for making points at state.

"If they can leave their best stuff on the court, it will be a successful season."

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