State tennis preview: Best boys' player is a mystery, for once

  • Article by: JIM PAULSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 4, 2013 - 1:54 AM

Four-time champ Dusty Boyer graduated in 2012, so the field has opened for many challengers.

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Edina's Max Olson.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

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Forest Lake’s Dusty Boyer won his state-record fourth consecutive title last year, then graduated and took his game to the University of Nebraska.

In his place is a slew of high-quality players, all of whom can claim a legitimate shot at winning a crown.

“Absolutely it’s more interesting,” Edina coach Gary Aasen said. “There are a lot of really good players involved. Even if they don’t think they can win it, there are guys who think they can get to the semifinals or finals. There’s a lot more hunger.”

If a favorite had be determined, it would be Edina junior Max Olson. A 6-3 righthander with a powerful serve and deft hands around the net, Olson earned the tournament’s No. 1 seed in this, the first year that the Minnesota State High School League has seeded the tournament.

“I wouldn’t say he’s the most talented, but he’s got the most weapons,” Aasen said.

But Olson isn’t a lock. After being No. 1 in the Tennis Coaches Association rank ings for the first half of the season, he had a lull, which included a loss to Elk River sophomore Josh Gearou.

“I’m not sure what happened,” Aasen said. “He played a lot of matches against some very good players in a short period of time. He may have been a little beat up and tired.”

Olson rebounded and won the Section 5 title, beating Minneapolis South’s Jesse Sprinkel in the finals.

He challengers include Boyer’s younger brother Toby, an undefeated sophomore who earned the No. 2 seed; Sprinkel, who is seeded No. 3 and was ranked No. 1 through the final stages of the regular season; and No. 4 seed Zach Ekstein of Eagan, who brings a 22-1 record to the field. Gearou also is in the mix, as is Minnetonka junior Joel (formerly Joey) Richards and Burnsville junior Tom McCallie.

The Class 2A team competition has a much more orderly feel. No. 1-seeded Wayzata, the deepest team in the tournament, is favored over Elk River, the defending champion and the No. 2 seed.

In Class 1A, everything likely will come down to archrivals Blake and Breck. The 1A field isn’t seeded. But with Blake ranked first and Breck second in the coaches association rankings — and in opposite brackets — a finals match between the two is a near certainty.

“The players [on Blake and Breck] know each other on and off the court and many are friends, so it is always a great match,” Blake coach Ted Warner said.

Expect two-time singles champion Myles Tang of Breck to square off against Blake sophomore Charlie Adams in the singles final while the Blake pairing of Kai Skallerud and Taylor Parr looks tough to beat in the doubles field.

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Toronto - LP: A. Loup 4 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: J. Outman 6
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: R. Porcello 2
Atlanta - LP: G. Schlosser 3 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. Valverde 4
Seattle - LP: T. Wilhelmsen 2 FINAL
Miami - WP: M. Dunn 3
St. Louis - LP: S. Maness 2 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 3
Milwaukee - WP: Z. Duke 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Gomez 2
NY Yankees - WP: P. Claiborne 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: H. Bell 1
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 8 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: Y. Ventura 3
Cincinnati - WP: H. Bailey 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: C. Villanueva 2
Chicago WSox - WP: E. Johnson 16 FINAL
Texas - LP: R. Ross Jr. 2
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Chavez 4
Philadelphia - WP: J. Diekman 10 FINAL
Colorado - LP: M. Belisle 9
San Francisco - WP: T. Lincecum 4 FINAL
San Diego - LP: R. Erlin 3
Arizona - LP: J. Collmenter 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: J. Wright 4
Baltimore - LP: B. Matusz 5 FINAL
Boston - WP: E. Mujica 6
Dallas 85 FINAL
San Antonio 90
Charlotte 88 FINAL
Miami 99
Washington 102 FINAL
Chicago 93
Portland 122 FINAL
Houston 120
Philadelphia 4 FINAL
NY Rangers 2
Detroit 1 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
San Jose 7

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