COACH: Hank Deslaurier.
KEY LOSSES: None.
KEY RETURNEES: John McDonald, Sr.; Mike Paulter, Sr.; Tony Bulso, Sr.; Shawn Wilson, Sr.; Kyle Staton, Sr.; Jonathon Hayes, Jr.
BREAKDOWN: With practically the entire team returning, and with Nature Coast transfer Kyle Staton in the fold, the Bears again enter the season as the top team in the county. Last year, Central went 14-0 before losing to Flagler Palm Coast in regionals. With McDonald, the returning HCAC Player of the Year, anchoring a strong singles line up, the Bears again have high hopes.
COACH: Anthony Miziko.
KEY LOSSES: Daniel Widboom.
KEY RETURNEES: Raleigh McKenzie, Jr.; Chris Walters, So.; Jake Elder, Sr.; Seth Rumberger, Sr.; Lance Vandervoort, Sr.
BREAKDOWN: Hernando loses No. 1 player Widboom, but returns three others who played singles last year. McKenzie and Vandervoort split time at No. 2 and No. 3 last year, but McKenzie enters the year at No. 1. Vandervoort, who recently decided to play this season, eventually will move up near the top of the line up.
NATURE COAST TECH
COACH: Tom Brown
KEY LOSSES: Justin Cox, Kyle Staton and Francoise Pambrianchi.
KEY RETURNEES: Jonathan Kidder, Jr.
BREAKDOWN: The Sharks are young. They lost two seniors and Staton transferred to Central. That mean's Kidder is new in the No. 1 spot and Brown is relying on youngsters to fill out the rest of the squad. No. 2 player PJ Watterson and No. 3 David Harres are freshmen. They don't have a No. 6 player in the lineup, choosing to use Nos. 6-9 as doubles partners. Brown said he doesn't think his younger players have the stamina to play both a singles and doubles match.
COACH: Lou Giglio.
KEY LOSSES: None.
KEY RETURNEES: Clay Ethinson, Sr.; Chris Griefenberger, Sr.
BREAKDOWN: The Eagles field a strong line up, especially at the top with Ethinson and Griefenberger in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots. Giglio calls juniors David Roebuck, Frank Stancenelli and Chris Baker "the future of the team." But for now, the Eagles will rely on the seniors. Giglio thinks Springstead is as good as any team in the district at the two top spots.
COACH: Joe Nicolai.
KEY LOSSES: Stephanie D'Anna, Michelle Sullivan, Courtney Sasser
KEY RETURNEES: Jeanette McDonald, Jr.; Irene Cho, Sr.; Alexa Burns, So.; Nicole Schallenberg, So.; Aleyse Horn, Jr.; Stephanie Wilson, Fr.; Kathleen Sutton, So.
BREAKDOWN: Like its boys squad, Central possesses the top girls team in the area, and its No. 1 singles player is a big reason why. McDonald has only lost two matches in two years (both in states) and anchors a line up that combines experience and talent. Cho is a conference and district winner who is very consistent. Burns, meanwhile, moves up from No. 4.
COACH: Teri Sellers.
KEY LOSSES: Shana Keefe, Jill Mattherly, Jennifer Gabisch, Jill Mattherly, Angela Briggs, Cookie Graham.
KEY RETURNEES: Chelsea Clark, Sr.; Angie Wessel, Jr.; Leah Keefe, So.; Rachel Loman, So.; Jennifer Gregg, So.; Emily Cochran, So.
BREAKDOWN: Hernando has an entirely new look this season, which tends to happen after a team loses three top players to graduation. Sellers says that Clark, who played No. 2 last year, will have to step up and help steady the ship. The addition of Wessel, an exchange student from Germany, helps, but it will be interesting to see how always-strong Hernando rebounds from its offseason departures. The Leopards lost just twice last year, both to Central.
NATURE COAST TECH
COACH: Louise Downey.
KEY LOSSES: Allison Levic.
KEY RETURNEES: Aspen Dukes, Sr.; Sara Paraplis, Jr.
BREAKDOWN: Freshman Rachel Center steps into the No. 1 spot vacated by Levic. Center is a state-ranked player coming from Pwell Middle School. Downey said she has been a serious player the past three years, participating in state-sanctioned tournaments. Dukes, Paraplis, No. 3 Kaitie Stellpslug, No. 5 Felicia McCaffrey and No. 6 Anna DeAngelis round out the Sharks line up. They started the season with a 6-1 win over Springstead and a 7-0 victory over Gulf.
COACH: Sheila Ethinson.
KEY LOSSES: Seon Jeon, Kaitlyn Pecsenta.
KEY RETURNEES: Jessica DeBusk, Sr.; Negin Goudarzi, Sr.
BREAKDOWN: Only DeBusk and Goudarzi return. Goudarzi also is moving up from the No. 4 spot last season, to No. 3. This season's No. 2 is freshman Jessica Caggiano. The rest of the line up - No. 4 Stephanie Tatum, No. 5 Kelly Souzu and No. 6 alternates Ashley Williams and Kelly Baldwin - were alternates on last year's squad. Ethinson is taking over the girls team this season after coaching Springstead's boys the past couple years. She said the team is inexperienced and learning.
- VINCENT THOMAS, Times staff writer