Boys' Tennis: Strong veteran core will carry Tigers

At the top of the lineup, the Douglas High boys' tennis team will be losing its only two state qualifiers in at least the last decade.

That's the bad news.

The good news is the Tigers will be bringing one of the top young players in the region this season.

Senior Keagan Chipp (24-5) and junior Robert Shawhan (21-2) qualified for state as a doubles tandem last season, but Chipp is gone and Shawhan is in Spain for the year at an elite tennis academy.

In their place, freshman James TenBroeck moves in after a successful summer on the junior tennis circuit. Among his many accolades were winning the Northern California section 15 championship and qualifying for the Nike Junior Masters national championship tournament, which will be later this month.

"He is really, really good," Douglas coach Mike McLaughlin said. "He's a legitimate Division I college type of player."

But for all the shifting at the top of the lineup, it can't go without notice that the Tigers will be returning six veteran players to the core of the roster. That's experience that is invaluable to McLaughlin.

"You look at those guys and a lot of them have been with us for four years now," McLaughlin said. "They give us some strong, reliable veterans out there. We have a solid core of really good high school tennis players."

Andrew Solomon is the team's top returning player after posting a 13-9 record in the No. 3 singles slot last year.

Marshall Jessup and Tim Doran combined for 12 wins in the doubles bracket last season but will likely see time in both singles and doubles play this year.

McLaughlin noted Spike Neri, who was 18-13 as a doubles player last season, as a top returner and pointed out Kevin Sacherman as one of the team's most improved players. Senior Aaron Wennhold enters his third year with the team to round out the talented group of returners.

Among the top newcomers outside of TenBroeck are freshmen Garon Athanacio, Craig Stratton and Tayler Christopher.

"Garon could develop into a really strong player over time and he'll contibute this season," McLaughlin said. "Craig and Tayler are right there. They give us a lot to build on. We have a lot of overall potential."

While Douglas has a promising lineup, the realignment of the Northern 4A leagues could be a tough obstacle to clear.

"Realignment didn't help us any," McLaughlin said with a laugh. "We were a .500 club as it was last year and we lost some teams we beat to the other lead and gained some stronger programs in their place.

"It'll be a challenge. We lose Reno and get Galena, which is an even tougher matchup. We lose Hug and get Manogue, who is always tough."

It could come down to rivalry matchups against South Tahoe and Carson.

"We've never beaten Carson since I've been here but we match up with them a lot better this season," McLaughlin said. "South Tahoe, I have no idea what they have this year, but they have beaten us every year. Those will be our key matches. We really do have a nice top of the lineup so we'll see where that takes us."


n Douglas loses top players Keagan Chipp and Robert Shawhan but gains freshman standout James TenBroeck.

n While perennial league power Reno departs to the High Desert League, defending regional champion Galena will come in. Big wins against Hug and North Valleys get replaced by tough programs Manogue and Fallon.



Mike McLaughlin, 3rd season (11-11)


5-6 overall, 5-3 Sierra League. Northern 4A Regional quarterfinalists

Key Returners

Spike Neri, sr.

Andrew Solomon, sr.

Kevin Sacherman, sr.

Marshall Jessup, sr.

Tim Doran, sr.

Aaron Wennhold, sr.

Top Newcomers

James TenBroeck, fr.

Garon Athanacio, fr.

Craig Stratton, fr.

Tayler Christopher, fr.


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