Team tennis lends itself to repeat champions, so it’s somewhat startling to think Wayzata has a chance to become the first Class 2A team to win three consecutive titles since Edina did it from 1987 to 1989. The Trojans have a solid 1-2 punch at singles in defending champion Nick Beaty and senior Hank Lee and a top-flight doubles duo of Steele Kowalczyk and Nick Kasner. Coach Jeff Prondzinski still is sifting through less-experienced players to fill out the rest of the lineup. They probably won’t be undefeated but the Trojans should be formidable by the time the postseason rolls around.
Getting over the hump
In terms of natural athletic ability, Forest Lake senior Toby Boyer has no peer on the tennis court. But his interest in other sports often has taken his focus away from tennis, which is why Boyer has yet to earn a Class 2A singles title. Boyer has gotten oh-so-close in each of the past two seasons, losing three-setters in the final to Minnetonka’s Joey Richards in 2013 and Beaty last year. Can he take the next step and bring a fifth title to the Boyer family home in Ham Lake? Older brother Dusty, whom he will join next year at Nebraska, is Minnesota’s only four-time singles champion.
The Minnesota State High School League in February approved a recommendation by the tennis coaches association asking that teams rank their players one through 10 according to singles ability. As they have in the past, teams can submit three lineups eligible for postseason play, but each will be independent of the others and more rigid in structure. The hope is that the measure, which will take effect next season, will lessen the possibilities of stacking lineups — putting lesser players at higher spots in the lineup in the hope of earning points elsewhere.
“We are hoping that it simplifies the process for all coaches and gives them more usable lineups,” said Pine City coach Rick Engelstad, executive secretary of the coaches association. “Will it work? Good question!”