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Boys' tennis teams adjusting to early season starts

Tennis: Burroughs returns Patterson from league-championship team, while Burbank looks to have solid singles group.

February 24, 2014|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(File Photo )

BURBANK — It was a successful showing for a group of local boys' tennis players in the 2013 Pacific League Tournament.

A year ago, Burroughs High's Sawyer Patterson defeated Hoover's Oleg Simonyan, 6-3, 6-4, to take the singles title at the league final.

The Indians also received a league title from the doubles squad of Michael Whelan and Calvin Fox, which rebounded to notch a 5-7, 7-5, 10-6, victory against cross-town rivals Keon Park and Clayton Pauff of Burbank.

All five local players earned All-Area accolades. But of that group, only one returns for the 2014 campaign, and he is from Burroughs.

One big drawback for the teams this year is that the Pacific League season has been pushed up. In fact, the Indians and Bulldogs both opened the league campaign Tuesday, as neither had a chance to play any nonleague contests.

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Here is a closer look at the squads.

BURROUGHS

When the Indians (13-1) lost their best player last season, senior Garrett Auproux, to an injury midway through the year, hopes for a league championship dimmed for the Indians. However, the team's players rallied and the Indians captured the league title.

Leading the way was Patterson, a junior, who was undefeated in the regular season. Patterson finished 30-0 in regular-season singles matches and was 6-0 in doubles.

Patterson and Burroughs, however, lost in the first round of the playoffs after making the jump to Division I, falling to Marina, 10-8.

Patterson also did well in the CIF Southern Section Individual Tournament at the University of Redlands. He notched a 6-0, 6-0 win against David Gonzalez of Kaiser and then defeated Eric West of Shadow Hills, 6-1, 6-1. He was then defeated by Victor Brown of Ayala, 6-2, 6-2.

"Sawyer had a good season last year, and he looks even better this season," Burroughs Coach Roy Bernhardt said. "He has improved since last season."

One player who Bernhardt expected to return for the Indians was Fox, a senior. Fox played primarily singles last season, but was paired up in doubles for the league tournament. However, Fox said he will not play for Burroughs this season.

"Unfortunately yes. It was a tough decision, but it was a commitment that I would not be able to make this year," Fox said via Twitter. "I do not want it to become a drama…I wish all our spring teams the very best this year."

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