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Thursday, Dec 18, 2014
Preps

Pasco Tennis Season Preview

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Boys

Teams to Watch

1. Wiregrass Ranch: The Bulls have been dominant, not only in Pasco County, but also as one of the Bay area’s top teams. They have depth, they have talent and they have experience. Gaither and Land O’ Lakes should be their toughest opponents in the deep Class 3A-District 9, but coach Dave Wilson has the team headed to a national tournament in Kentucky in March and will have his hands full managing many USTA players. Even without them, the Bulls should make another state appearance where they hope finish in the top three this season.

2. Pasco: Coming off a district title and a easy first-round region win, the Pirates return the core of their team, including their new No. 1, who is just a junior. Pasco is the top county team in the deep 2A-7, but will have tough matches and opponents out of Crystal River and the other Hernando County teams, plus find tough opposition coming out of the 2A region.

3. Land O’ Lakes: The Gators are a contender to get out of the 3A-9 and make a region appearance, but, of course, will face a tough match vs. Wiregrass.

Players to Watch

Agie Moreno, So., Wiregrass Ranch: Arguably the top player in the county, whose father is the USF women’s tennis coach, has also won a gold medal at the Mexican Olympics and is ranked 320th in the world.

Foresight Okungbowa, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: Now that his brother, Courage, is at FAMU, Foresight becomes one of the Bulls’ top returning players.

Daniel Lukish, So., Mitchell: The Mustangs young, top returner will look to help them return to the region tournament.

David Dollbaum, Jr., Land O’ Lakes: The Gators’ No. 1 player since he was a freshman should be one of the finalists aiming for the top finish in the district.

Josh Morris, Jr., Pasco: The Pirates’ top player returns to help guide them to a second consecutive district title.

Girls

Teams to Watch

1. Wiregrass Ranch: The Bulls took two big blows before the season when their top two players from last season — Star Makarome and Victoria Chavez — opted not to play their junior seasons. However, like Wiregrass’ boys team, the girls are deep with talent and are still in contention to win the district title and do well in regions.

2. Pasco: The Pirates have hopes of winning their fourth straight district title behind lots of returning talent and experience. Coach Don Charlick says the district is tougher than in the past, in that there are new teams they’ve played, plus the likes of Crystal River, Nature Coast and Hernando still around. Pasco, however, is still a big favorite to return to regions.

3. Land O’ Lakes: A young Gators team surprised some and made a region tournament appearance last season. Now returning the core of their talent and with experience too boot, Land O’ Lakes is looking for a return coming out of a deep 3A-9.

Players to Watch

Brianna Miah, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: The Bulls’ new No. 1 with their “star” not playing, but already proving she’s one of the county’s top players.

Precious Okungbowa, Fr., Wiregrass Ranch: That’s right, the younger sister of Courage and Foresight and already showing that tennis talent definitely runs in the Okungbowa family.

Mady Johnson, Sr., Pasco: Won the individual title for the Pirates and led them to a third-straight district title.

Shelbie Timlake, Jr., Pasco: The Pirates’ new No. 2 player, up for the fourth spot, has shown dramatic improvement.

Kavya Avancha, So., Land O’ Lakes: Last season earned a district runner-up title in singles, but advanced to states with a doubles title.

Mike Camunas

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