The Star-News


Young Barons hope to advance in Mesa tennis standings

Fri, Apr 16 2010 01:50 PM Posted By: John Philip Wyllie

Having finished in third place in the Mesa League boys tennis standings a year ago, the Bonita Vista Barons are hoping to move up and threaten for a 2010 league banner. BV boasts a talented roster, but one that is lacking in senior leadership. Overtaking always tough Otay Ranch and Eastlake may be easier said than done, at least this year.

Holding the number one singles spot is junior Nico Franco.

 "I would label Nico as a shot-maker," said first year coach Dan Lanahan. "He is not a big hitter and he doesn't have tremendous speed, but he has all of the shots. Potentially, he could be a very good player. He has a chance to be the top player in the conference. He plays smart and uses a lot of strategy. If he has to stay back and rally with his opponent, he can do that. If he needs to come up to the net, he can also do that. He can do whatever the circumstances dictate."

His coach believes that Franco possesses  the skills required to one day play at the collegiate level.

Lanahan has freshman David Cabinian playing in the number two slot, or at least he will be playing there once he returns from vacation. "He is going to be really good once he gets a little bit older," Lanahan predicted.

At 14, Cabinian is still growing into his body, but he is already showing signs of definite potential. "David has a huge forehand. Once he improves on his footwork and grows into his body he is going to be a great tennis player," Lanahan said.

At this point the number three slot is a two-man battle between freshman Juan Valencia and junior Andrew Malcolm.

 "Juan smacks the cover off the ball," the BV coach said. "We call him 'The Banger.' We nicknamed Andrew 'The Pest' because he gets nearly every ball back. He keeps almost everything in play and is able to frustrate most of his opponents that way." 

The doubles teams are somewhat undecided at this point, but there is plenty of talent from which to draw.

 "It is somewhat intertwined in terms of who will be playing first, second and third doubles," Lanahan said. "Right now, Edward Malcolm and Keisuke Horioka look like one team. Kyosuke Goto and RyoTatsumiya look like a second team and then Kevin Ong and Taku Furukawa are a third. Any one of those teams could be our number one team and any one of them could be our number three team."

The fact that Lanahan is fielding a young team bodes well for the future. There is not a single senior on the roster, but it contains eight freshmen.

 "It should be an interesting year," Lanahan said. "We would like to win the conference championship this year, but (realistically) the goal is to win it next year."


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