Tennis ready to serve up victories


Sports editor

You couldn’t really ask for better tennis weather. Over 50-straight days of 70-degree weather in western Washington have kept the courts in Federal Way pretty busy over the summer and have the four boy’s tennis programs in the school district excited about the upcoming fall season.

Thomas Jefferson, Decatur, Beamer and Federal Way start up their South Puget Sound League South Division seasons this week and hope they end in the spring at the Class 4A state championships in Kennewick. Districts and state are held in May because some leagues play tennis during the spring sports season.

Jefferson looks primed to improve on its third-place finish in the South a season ago, according to veteran coach Andrew Buchan. The Raiders compiled a 9-5 record and finished behind undefeated Curtis and Puyallup in the standings.

“We have summer experience, energy and depth,” Buchan said. “

Back for the Raiders will be senior Todd Schultz and junior Kenny Fritschy, meaning Buchan will be counting on a steady influx of newcomers. The coach also got some bad news over the summer when state qualifier Stuart Michnick moved to Texas.

“This is a great group of guys who are familiar with the Raider tennis tradition,” Buchan said. “They will work hard and should improve all year.”

Decatur returns the lone Federal Way school district state veteran in sophomore Chris Rice. Rice paired with 2003 graduate Brandon Abang to win the SPSL South doubles championship.

Rice, along with senior Marty Klingebiel and sophomore Travis Wagner, hope to improve the Gators’ 7-7 record from a season ago.

Federal Way and coach Jerome Collins return several players from last year’s 5-9 squad. Back for the Eagles will be seniors Kevin Riley, David Lee, and Kyle Sahgun, juniors Eric Ryan, Kyle Skinner and Chris McColgan. Newcomer Derek VanDeWege should also provide some points for Federal Way.

First-year Todd Beamer High School will be entering the SPSL South as a brand new program under coach Jeff Richards. The

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