High School Sports

Squalicum Storm boys’ tennis preview

Coach: Joe O’Brien

Last year: 9-4 overall (third in Northwest Conference). ... Only losses of the year came to Sehome and Bellingham, each twice. ... Sent the doubles pairing of Kevin Smiley and Drew Segren to the bi-district tournament. ... The two fell in their first match, but defeated Bellingham’s Chad Cheldelin and Chris Nakatani in the consolation first round.

Players to watch: Kevin Smiley (Jr.); Drew Segren (Sr.); Neal Crawford (NA); Brandon Rexroat (NA).

Outlook: O’Brien has a healthy mix of young players and veteran returners this year. His Squalicum squad brings back key guys Smiley and Segren, who have battled for the top singles spot throughout preseason practices. “Well, we’re getting tired of playing each other,” O’Brien said in a phone interview. “I’m pleased with the progress everybody is making ... They’ve both been real competitive with each other.” The Storm suffered losses last season to just two teams — powers Bellingham and Sehome — so with two established singles players and a good back end of the rotation, O’Brien is optimistic his team can again give those two programs solid competition. Also coming along are younger players who played in the back of his rotation last year, especially the likes of Cole Herdman and Luke Reinschmidt, as well as several different pairings with Carter Nickelson in doubles. “We’ve got a large squad this year — 15 guys on the team,” O’Brien said. “Quite a few guys to choose from on doubles.”