Powerful Wakefield expects a tennis battle in Cap Eight

tstevens@newsobserver.comFebruary 23, 2013 

Wakefield reached the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A dual-team finals in 2012 before falling to perennial power Winston-Salem Reynolds.

The Wolverines (19-2) could be just as good this season with the return of four starters, including their top three singles players, but they expect a battle in their own Cap Eight 4A Conference.

The Wolverines’ Bo Boyden, who had only one singles loss in 2012, and Jensen Martin were 4A doubles semifinalists. Junior Andrew Belonga is a two-time all-Cap Eight pick and junior Kyle McKeeman was all-conference last year.

Wakefield coach Ken Stewart said there are plenty of local teams that should contend for the NCHSAA 4A crown.

Broughton returns five starters from a 2012 club that Stewart believes was among the top three teams in the state. The Tri-Nine’s Green Hope, another playoff team, has its lineup back and Stewart praises a young Millbrook club.

Teams to watch

Broughton : The Caps (18-4) return five starters from a club that lost to Wakefield in the state 4A semifinals. The three seniors are a combined 102-24 in career singles. Andrew Waddell played No. 1 in 2012 and teamed with Patrick Longest in doubles. Carlton Bunn is 44-4 in his career. Sophomore Taylor Book was 17-1 in singles last year and Campbell Stone, also a sophomore, was 10-2.

Green Hope : The Falcons (19-1) were undefeated before losing to Wakefield in the quarterfinals. Senior Kelly Patch reached the 4A singles semifinals.

Cardinal Gibbons : The Crusaders (24-4) defeated Marvin Ridge 5-2 to win the NCHSAA 3A championship, Gibbons’ sixth of the past seven seasons. Sophomore Matthew Galush was half of Gibbons’ winning doubles combination and was 20-0 in singles. Junior Robert Kelly is 29-7 in his high school singles career and is ranked No. 6 in 18U state rankings. Senior Pierce Beary is 84-26 in career singles.

Chapel Hill : The Tigers (15-8) reached the third round of the 3A playoffs before being ousted by Carolina 3A mate Cardinal Gibbons.

Apex : The Cougars (13-4) return five starters, led by Will Ostrom. Apex has great depth with 14 players.

Millbrook: Senior Chris Mahan is ranked 13th in North Carolina and 99th in the Southeast. He reached the state 4A doubles semifinals with junior Sean Carmean.

Clayton : The Comets are expected to be led by freshman Klein Evans, who was ranked No. 3 in the state in boys U14 in 2012.

Carrboro : The Jaguars (19-4) lost in the state 2A finals to Shelby.

Raleigh Charter : The Phoenix (15-2) reached the NCHSAA 1A championship before losing to Hendersonville.

Panther Creek: The Catamount (14-3) finished behind Green Hope in the Tri-Nine 4A Conference.

Durham Jordan : The Falcons (17-3) won the Piedmont Athletic 4A title.

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