Boys' tennis outlook

For a little more than the last decade, area tennis teams have been looking up at Handley at the top of the district standings.

That probably won’t change in the Class 4 Northwestern District this spring.

The Judges return an experienced squad, including a pair of players who contributed during their last state title run (the ninth in school history). Handley went 12-1 overall last spring, falling 5-2 in the Region 4C finals to Dominion.

John-Henry Herrington, who played No. 3 singles last season, has opened up at No. 1 for the Judges this spring. Brendan Love, who teamed with the graduated Daniel Botros to advance to the Class 4 doubles semifinals last season, is back at No. 2.

No. 3 Neil Parikh and No. 5 Ty Dickson both started for the Judges last season. Newcomers Nicolas-Ryan Herrington (No. 4) and Nathan Thomas (No. 6) have joined the starting lineup. The Judges knocked off Millbrook 8-1 in their district opener.

James Wood (9-4 last spring) finished second to the Judges in the district last season, but the Colonels’ lineup has lost four starters from that squad.

Ryan Stevens (No. 4 last season) and Scott Shepherd (No. 6) opened this season at the top two singles spots for the Colonels. Zach Harris, David Bass, Trenton Gould and Landon Keffer also opened the season in the starting lineup.

Millbrook has a new coach in Chris Rogus. The Pioneers’ lineup has shifted in three matches to start the season, but No. 1 Nathan Simmons and No. 2 Adriano Georgiev have been constants. Jack Muldowney, John Doepper, Ben Yeager and Ian Duckstein have played each match in singles, but in varying positions. The Pioneers topped Sherando 6-3 to open the season.

Sherando struggled last spring, but returns three starters, including Tommy Reese (playing at No. 1 this season), Andrew Bray (No. 2) and William Callanan (No. 5). Joining them in the early season lineup has been No. 3 Adam Hall, No. 4 Justin Lee and No. 6 Ian Liang.

Last season, Clarke County was the top seed in last year’s Bull Run District tournament before falling to East Rockingham 5-4 in the final.

The Eagles return just two players from that squad, current No. 1 Linus Pritchard and No. 2 Jack Lucier. Following those two in the singles lineup have been Jack Westbrook, Graham Wolford, Thomas Dalton and Ethan Ellis.

HandleyCoach: Dan Jones, seventh season

Last year: 12-1, Class 4 Northwestern District champion and Region 4C runner-up

Key losses: Daniel Botros, Ryan Mueller

Key returners: Brendan Love (Sr.); John-Henry Herrington (Sr.); Neil Parikh (Sr.); Ty Dickson (So.); Henry Fowler (Sr.); Nathan Thomas (Jr.); Nicholas Ramdass (Jr.).

Key newcomers: Nicholas-Ryan Herrington (Sr.); Carter Bessette (So.); Jack Boye (Fr.); Mathew Bosshard (Fr.).

Jones’ outlook: “Our expectations are high. We have three seniors and a sophomore with experience returning. All who have worked hard in the offseason and understand what it takes to make a deep run. We also have a handful of young kids. I’m excited to see them prove themselves and fight to make the lineup.”

Next match: Today at Loudoun County

James WoodCoach: Matt Shepherd, second season

Last year: 9-4, Class 4 Northwestern District runner-up, Region 4C semifinalist

Key losses: Jonah Borromeo

Key returnees: Ryan Stevens (Jr.); Scott Shepherd (Jr.); Zach Harris (Sr.).

Key newcomers: Trenton Gould (Jr.); David Bass (Fr.); Landen Keffer (Jr.).

Shepherd’s outlook: “Our overall expectations are to be competitive in all matches this year. We finished second in the district last year with many experienced players, this year we don’t have the same experience but players have gotten better over the summer and we look forward to a fun and competitive year.”

Next match: Friday vs. Central

MillbrookCoach: Chris Rogus, first season

Last year: 5-4 in the Class 4 Northwestern District

Key losses: Drake Wilfong, Jonathan Clippinger

Key returners: Nathan Simmons (Sr.); Adriano Georgiev (Sr.); Jack Muldowney (Sr.); Ian Duckstein (Sr.); John Doepper (Jr.).

Key newcomers: Ben Yeager (Fr.)

Rogus’ outlook: “We’re excited to get a full season this year. The nine games of last year seem to be here and gone in a flash. I’ve got four seniors returning this year, so I’m looking for a good showing from them and to see them be role models for the new players.”

Next match: Thursday vs. Handley

SherandoCoach: Garland Williams, third season

Key losses: Joe Venturato, Matt Clarke, Ben Jensen, Ashraf Ibrahim, Dylan Rodeffer

Top returners: Tommy Reese (Jr.); Andrew Bray (Sr.); Ian Liang (Jr.); William Callanan, (Jr.); Vishan Bhagat (So.)

Top newcomers: Adam Hall (Sr.); Justin Lee (Sr.); Emmett Gannon (Fr.); Justin Jensen (So.).

Williams’ outlook: “We have some good hard-working first-year players along with our returners. I think our team will be very competitive as we get deeper into the season.”

Next match: Today vs. Broad Run

Clarke CountyCoach: Forrest Pritchard, second season

Last year: 7-2, Bull Run District runner-up

Key losses: Keith Dalton, Ian Clapp, Daniel Lai, Conor Thoresen, Mark Kaiser

Key returners: Linus Pritchard (Jr.); Jack Lucier (Jr.)

Key newcomers: Jack Westbrook (Fr.); Graham Wolford (Jr.); Thomas Dalton (Jr.); Dominic Boukaia (Jr.); Preston Bernier (So.); Matthew Strickland (So.).

Next match: Thursday vs. Warren County

— Contact Walt Moody at
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