Plenty of amazing team and individual efforts were turned in last season by the Burbank High and Burroughs boys’ tennis squads.
Burbank and Burroughs qualified for the CIF Southern Section playoffs, plus Burbank had two singles players fare well at the prestigious CIF Southern Section Championships.
Those performances have given the Bulldogs and Bears reason for optimism, as most of their respective lineups will return with the goal on tap of matching or perhaps surpassing last season’s accomplishments.
Here’s a closer look at the teams.
The Bulldogs finished 10-4, 9-3 in the Pacific League for second place behind powerful Arcadia last season. Burbank fell, 11-7, to Dos Pueblos in a CIF Southern Section Division II first-round road match.
Still, Burbank had a pair of singles players in Adam Ridaoui and Amrith Kodumuri who dominated in league and made runs at the CIF Southern Section Championships.
Ridaoui defeated Kodumuri, 6-7(4-7), 6-4, 10-4, to win his third league singles championship in a row. Ridaoui reached the first round of the CIF Southern Section Championships and Kodumuri advanced to the second round.
Ridaoui, a senior, and Kodumuri, a sophomore, will look to ignite the Bulldogs again.
“Adam and Amrith got to a tiebreaker in the [league] championship match and neither backed down that day,” Burbank coach Loi Phan said. “They really pushed each other and that helped out both of them. That match raised their overall games and that played a big part in them doing well in CIF.”
The tandem will be at the forefront for the Bulldogs, who remain in Division II.
Ridaoui and Kodumuri will be joined by junior James Basco and possibly sophomore David Kerimyan in singles. The doubles lineup will feature sophomore Dominic Aleman and freshman Raphael Lazaryev.
“Since we are strong at 1-2 in singles, I feel like we can be a top-three team in league,” Phan said. “You can’t predict injuries or sickness. We’ve had a lot of practices and I’ve seen overall improvement. It’s a team that’s really bonding and it’s good to have that tight-knit group of players.”
The Bears went 4-11, 3-9 in the Pacific League for fourth place last season. Burroughs started the Division III playoffs with a 9-9 (74-70) road win against Cate before falling, 9-9 (77-73), at home to Corona Centennial in the second round.
Burroughs finished behind Arcadia, Burbank and Crescenta Valley in league last season.
“We have some guys coming back from last year’s team, so that should help,” said Burroughs coach Roy Bernhardt, whose team will stay in Division III. “I think we are going to be OK and our guys are ready to go. We look forward to seeing what we can do.
“I think our singles players can take care of themselves and there’s been improvement in doubles. Arcadia, Burbank and Crescenta Valley will be there, but we feel like we can get back to the playoffs.”
Burroughs’ singles lineup might feature senior Michael Fraser and sophomores Bernard Woods and Ari Pathak.
The doubles players looking to crack the lineup include seniors Vivek Bhakta, Kaiah Bates and Sean Konkle, junior Bevan Maxwell, sophomore Paul Vu and freshman Jaden Chapman.