Player of the Year Colin Roller, Fr., Land O'Lakes
Roller, who turns 15 a week from today, lost only one set to a North Suncoast opponent all season. A year-round player endowed with physical upside (6-foot-1, 185 pounds), he dropped only three games in as many matches to win the Class 3A, District 5 tournament at No. 1 singles and earn an individual state tournament berth. At the state meet in Altamonte Springs, he fell to Satellite's Patrick Killeavy 6-4, 6-2 in his first-round match, but won a doubles match with sophomore partner Brandon Vang.
Most impressive accomplishment: Roller points to his 6-2, 6-2 win over Oviedo Hagerty's Miguel Caruaja in the 3A team region quarterfinals. Playing in his first high school postseason match, Roller struggled with his first serve, but not his blistering forehand or backhand. "I got to the net a bunch of times and just overpowered him, I guess," he said.
Future plans: Three more district titles? Perhaps a state crown? Roller has three more years to build a tennis resume for college.
Did you know? A Virginia native, Roller also has lived outside Chicago (he's a huge Bulls and Cubs fan), and moved to the area last summer. … Three days a week, Roller travels to the Brandon Sports & Aquatic Center, where he trains with ex-college tennis standouts Alex (Florida State) and Andrew (Miami) Golub. Former Australian Open doubles semifinalist Scott Humphries is Roller's year-round coach.
Yuya Burkhart, Jr., Wesley Chapel: Fell to Roller in district final
James Mudge, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: District runnerup led Bulls to postseason
Simon Toftegaard, So., Nature Coast: 17-0, 2A-6 district champ at No. 2 singles
Brandon Vang, So., Land O'Lakes: District No. 2 singles champ and state doubles qualifier
P.J. Watterson, Sr., Nature Coast: 12-5, 2A-6 district champ at No. 1 singles
Nicolai Atkinson, So., Sunlake
Garren Dial, Sr., Sunlake
Shane Docter, Jr., Ridgewood
Eli Escobar, Sr., Sunlake
Austin Hamann, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch
Central: T.J. Armstrong
Hernando: Jesse Lane
Land O'Lakes: Chris Story
Nature Coast: David Cross
River Ridge: Nick Hill, Brian Mills
Sunlake: Lang Pham
Wesley Chapel: Stephen Diamantas, J.R. Nicolas
Wiregrass Ranch: James Reilly
Coach of the Year Dave Wilson, Wiregrass Ranch
Wilson's team, mostly devoid of year-round players, finished 13-2 and won the first postseason match in program history.
Joey Knight, Times staff writer