BY DENNIS CHASE firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Two Traverse City tennis teams will be favored to win regional titles today.
St. Francis has five No. 1 seeds in the Division IV regional at Ludington while Traverse City Central has three No. 1 seeds in the Division I regional at Midland.
The Gladiators, ranked No. 5, will need to beat nemesis Ludington, which has won the last two regionals after dropping down from Division III.
The good news for St. Francis — the Gladiators have beaten every team in the regional in a dual this season.
"If the math holds, "St. Francis coach Paul Bandrowski said. "But tennis is a funny game. Every day is a new day. Duals are not like a tournament.
"We told the kids that you've got to go out there and play every point, every game, every match. You can't take anything for granted. You have to go out there and play like every point matters, that every point is precious."
Earning No. 1 seeds for the Gladiators were Gus Danz at No. 2 singles, Jack Krcmarik at No. 3, Patrick Burke at No. 4, Blake Bandrowski and Jay Jones at No. 1 doubles and Brady Ray and Nathan Tafelsky at No. 2.
Ludington has the No. 1 seeds at No. 3 and No. 4 doubles. The Orioles have several No. 2 seeds.
"They're right on our tail," Bandrowski said. "It could go down to the wire."
Harbor Springs' Sam Hart is the No. 1 seed at No. 1 singles.
Bandrowski also expects Whitehall to contend. The top two teams automatically advance to the state finals.
Central, ranked No. 7, will be looking to defend its regional crown. But, coach Larry Nykerk admits, it will not be easy.
"It's going to be very tight," he said. "I'm not feeling comfortable at all."
Picking up No. 1 seeds for Central were Caleb Heimburger and Hayden Drury at No. 1 doubles, Parker Berden and Yani Beeker at No. 2 and Jack Seymour and Austin Wieland at No. 3. The Trojans also have three No. 2 seeds.
Grand Blanc is the No. 1 seed in all four singles flights. Midland Dow owns the No. 1 seed at No. 4 doubles. Both of those schools will challenge Central.
West's Erik Anton and Dave Mather are the No. 2 seed at No. 4 doubles.