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Boys tennis preview: A closer look at the eight Capital City teams
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Boys tennis preview: A closer look at the eight Capital City teams

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Class A boys state tennis, 10.15

Lincoln East's Kirby Le hustles to hit a forehand during the boys state tennis tournament at Omaha's Koch Family Tennis Center on Oct. 15, 2020.

Lincoln remains deep in tennis talent as multiple teams look to make deep runs this season.

Christian

Coach: Troy Calfee.

2020 state finish: 6th (Class B).

Returning letterwinners: David Heeren, sr.; Blake Boerger, so.

Outlook: The Crusaders must replace their top singles players from last year, and a No. 1 doubles player in Brady McGree. Boerger was a strong doubles player last season.

East

Coach: Christopher Stock.

2020 state finish: 2nd (Class A).

Returning letterwinners: Kaiden Bradley, sr.; Kyle Givens, sr.; Kirby Le, jr.; Gabe Whiston, jr.; Yakub Islarnov, so.

Outlook: With five players from last year's state lineup, the Spartans look to again contend for a state title. A pair of freshmen in Caden Haar and Joseph Bucknell could see time in the lineup, and Le was fifth at No. 1 singles last year.

Lincoln High

Coach: Steve Ward.

2020 state finish: T20th (Class A).

Returning letterwinners: Amir Tarkian, sr.; Alex Gable, sr.; Tai Frederick, sr.; Caden Connelly, sr.; Glenn McChristian, jr.

Outlook: The Links have five returning starters, so they'll look to lean on their experience. Four seniors — Kai Cobb, Kyren Koch, John Sump and Lewis Rokke — also look to crack the lineup.

North Star

Coach: Matt Lickliter.

2020 state finish: 12th (Class A).

Returning letterwinners: Cooper Wesslund, sr.; Kaden McCoy, sr.; Max Koebernick, sr.

Outlook: Lickliter calls Wesslund the "backbone of the team," and McCoy gives the Navigators a veteran presence in doubles. Multiple seniors and juniors are ready to help bolster the lineup.

Northeast

Coach: Jennie Hansen.

2020 state finish: DNQ.

Returning letterwinners: Jack Haeffner, sr.; Nolan Gillett, sr.; Tristan Whitlock, sr.

Outlook: The Rockets will lean on six seniors, including Jordan Sacks, who is expected to contribute to the starting lineup.

Pius X

Coach: Nolan DeWispelare.

2020 state finish: 7th (Class A).

Returning letterwinners: Cooper Nichols, sr.; Landan Hile, sr.; Ian Woita, so.; Thomas West, so.

Outlook: The Thunderbolts have a pair of returning state medalists leading the way. Nichols was sixth at No. 2 singles and Woita was seventh at No. 1 doubles. Hile and West were No. 2 doubles teammates last year.

Southeast

Coach: Chris Salem.

2020 state finish: 4th (Class A).

Returning letterwinners: Sam Weyeneth, sr.; Jackson Miller, jr.; Owen Smith, jr.; Nahum Barber, so.; Camden Hjermstad, so.

Outlook: The Knights return three starters. Their success will hinge on who steps up to replace Graham Peterson and Nathaniel Rathe, who won a state title at No. 1 doubles last year. Miller was the team's No. 1 singles player last year.

Southwest

Coach: Dennis Hershberger.

2020 state finish: 1st (Class A).

Returning letterwinners: Jack Shaffer, sr.; Markus Rutledge, sr.; Matthew Sorrell, sr.

Outlook: The defending state champion will have new starters at Nos. 1 and 2 singles and No. 2 doubles. Shaffer has varsity experience at No. 2 doubles, and Rutledge has played matches at No. 2 singles. Freshman Barrett Warner is among the newcomers expected to contribute.

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