Shorecrest coach John Haggar is understandably excited when talking about his boys team. Not only are the Chargers 10-1 coming off spring break, but they are also loaded with underclassmen.
Top player Christian Yepes is a sophomore who has lost once, to Canterbury senior Marc Sawyer. No. 2 Jon Bonner is a freshman. The No. 3 player is junior Jared Abelman and No. 4 is Ben Olsen, the only senior on the team. The fifth player is Cain Soltoff.
Together, the Chargers have blown past district opponents. Their only loss was to Berkeley Prep. Usually, Canterbury is the top team in Class A, District 9. But Shorecrest is changing that this season.
"They can go pretty far," Haggar said. "We can go nine deep, and any of our top three can beat each other on a given day. We should win districts, and then hopefully we'll get to states."
States could be tough. The one-day regional tournament will likely include Bradenton Academy, which is affiliated with the Nick Bollettierri Tennis Academy.
Speaking of Shorecrest
Senior Kelly Nelson has a modest goal this season. She hopes to win every game in district play. So far, Nelson is a perfect 11-0 and has won 88 consecutive games against district opponents.
Nelson is also undefeated in doubles with teammate Monica Sly. Nelson will play in the National Easter Bowl Tournament in April in Palm Springs, Calif.
Seminole's girls team is at it again. The Warhawks are 11-0 heading into spring break and lead the Pinellas County Athletic Conference North Division.
Seminole holds the county record with 148 consecutive conference wins from 1991-2001. That streak ended last season in a loss to Countryside.
This year's streak will likely be in jeopardy April 3 when Seminole takes on Countryside again. The Cougars, 2001 state champions, are also 11-0.
The Warhawks have been led this season by Amanda Yogus, Desiree Collins, Courtney Koch, Katy Kiernan and Mandy Erbe.
Taking a break
Public schools will be off next week, so no matches are scheduled. When play resumes April 1, only four matches remain as teams make their runs at a PCAC championship.
_ RODNEY PAGE