after nailing down their fifth straight district team title May 11 at Sun
Valley Tennis Club, The Community School strikes a team pose. Front,
from left, J.P. McNeal, Erika Connelly, Pauli Ochi, Josh Kantor, Lauren
Drew, Tami Parten and Ryan Drew. Back, from left, coach Harry Weekes, Luke
Fostvedt, Joel Evans, Chadd Montgomery, Lee Gurney, Tyler Martin and
Langely McNeal. Among team members missing from the photo are Quinn Orb,
Amy Alexander, Abby Minford, Joan Baumgardner and Morgan LaPeter. Express
photo by David N. Seelig
Fed by singles,
state tennis championship
Express Staff Writer
56 points and two state championships in singles, The Community School
tennis team waltzed to its second straight State 3A championship Saturday
all over the court, the Cutthroats (94 points, most ever by a Blaine
County team at state) outdistanced runner-up Homedale by 29 points and won
three of the five categories at the two-day meet.
Scribner said, "I think it’s the best team in my 20 years of
coaching. With our 1-2-3 girls in singles, well, I don’t think too many
of the bigger schools in Idaho would have beaten us in singles."
siblings Lauren Drew and Ryan Drew won the girls’ and boys’ singles
titles, while junior Joel Evans and sophomore Luke Fostvedt of Sun Valley
gave The Community School its first-ever boys’ doubles crown.
Evans (left) and Luke Fostvedt, The Community School’s first-ever
state champion in boys’ doubles. Express photo by David N. Seelig
that the Cutthroats didn’t have competition. All the winners were tested
and responded with aplomb.
Drew, the first four-time state singles winner since Centennial’s
Stephanie Chi (1991-94), posted three straight-set wins and clashed
against talented Homedale freshman Caity Jones in Saturday’s final.
Jones was a
formidable player, Scribner said, one who could dominate Idaho singles
with Lauren headed to college.
tough little girl got a lot of Lauren’s balls back. Not knowing her
because she’s a freshman, we watched her take some swings beforehand and
I really thought it was one of Homedale’s assistant coaches from the way
survived a three-hour 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 semi-final marathon Saturday morning
over Cutthroat sophomore Amy Alexander—and Jones used the momentum to
hold Drew to an early 2-2 tie. Then Drew won 10 straight games and cruised
to victory 6-2, 6-0.
Ryan Drew breezed through three straight-set wins before running into a
tough championship match-up against Fruitland senior Ben Judson, third at
state in 2001.
Scribner said, "The Fruitland kid really improved over last year.
Ryan knew he was in a dogfight but he handled himself well."
partisan crowd cheering Judson’s frequent forays to the net, the first
set was very closely contested. Drew gradually wore down Judson for his
second straight boys’ singles crown 7-5, 6-4.
said, "The Fruitland kid was always at the net. Ryan decided to slow
the game down so it became a game of skill rather than momentum. Once he
got him back, Ryan knew he could win 75% of the points. So he passed him,
made a couple of good returns on his serve and moved him back."
doubles, Evans and Fostvedt were severely challenged in an incredible
semi-final against Fruitland’s Drew Judson and Scott Schlager. They went
to two tiebreakers, the Cutthroats hanging on 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (5).
Fostvedt were too powerful for Wood River’s Vince Nagashima and Tate
Mills in the championship. The Cutthroat pair won 7-5, 6-4.
Josh Kantor and Langely McNeal won three straight-set matches and placed
second in mixed doubles. In all, The Community School won 25 of its 36
matches at state.
placed fourth in girls’ singles and future star Tyler Martin, just a
freshman, picked up his first two state singles victories last weekend.
doubles to WRHS
of juniors Ashley Lakey and Jessie Woodyard was a profitable one for the
Wood River High School tennis team during last weekend’s State 3A
tournament in Boise.
Woodyard won four matches and marched off with the 2002 state girls’
doubles title, leading coach Kirk Mason’s Wolverines (57 points) to
third place of 15 teams.
easy for Lakey and Woodyard, who battled back for a 6-7, 7-6, 6-2
semi-final triumph over Homedale juniors Alysa Gluch and Kelly Roberts.
Then Lakey and Woodyard beat Wood River teammates Katie Dondero and
Jessica Bohner 7-5, 6-3 in Saturday’s title match.
limited in playing time because of a wrist injury this season, was a late
replacement for Dondero’s partner Brisa Ayub (wisdom teeth).
senior Vince Nagashima and sophomore Tate Mills nearly pulled off a
first-set win over The Community School boys’ doubles team of Joel Evans
and Luke Fostvedt in the BD championship.
and Fostvedt prevailed 7-5, 6-4. Still, Nagashima and Mills won three
straight-set matches to earn the final.
two second places for Wood River—Dondero and Bohner, Nagashima and
had some bad luck when senior Honza Walter took sick in the mixed doubles
semi-final against eventual champions Kevin Overton and Sara Brown of
Homedale. Walter had to retire and Wood River forfeited its next match.
couple of vanquished opponents courtside at last weekend’s state
tournament in Boise, here are two admiring comments about Community School
state champions Ryan Drew and Lauren Drew:
Jones, Homedale senior about Ryan Drew: "He just overwhelmed me,
and I didn’t think I was playing badly. He plays smart and consistent
and hits the right shots at the right time. He doesn’t miss—he makes
you play. It’s not so much his serve as his entire game. He’s the
entire package. (Jones lost to Drew 6-0, 6-2 in the semi-final, then took
third place with a split-set triumph).
Jones, Homedale freshman about Lauren Drew: "She’s got a great
forehand and a great put-away shot. She’s consistent and powerful and
just pounds the ball. It’s hard keeping the ball on her backhand because
she moves around so well. But she’s got a great backhand, too. She’s
got a good serve and moves the ball well around the court. She’s just
very solid." (Jones lost to Drew 6-2, 6-0 in the championship match.)
Drew put her name in the Idaho tennis record books along with Stephanie
Chi of Centennial.
14 matches from 1991-94 while winning four consecutive State Class A girls’
singles championships, all at Sun Valley Tennis Club, Chi lost only 14
games in that amazing stretch. Drew was 15-0 and dropped only 19 games in
her streak of four state titles.
Chi went on
to play college tennis at UCLA and sample the Challenger circuit. Drew is
headed to Scripps College, a highly-regarded Division III school east of
Wood River and The Community School are now tied with 11 individual
state champions apiece—but the Wolverines have three in singles and
eight in doubles while the Cutthroats are quite the opposite, nine in
singles and two in doubles.
The victory of Joel Evans and Luke Fostvedt was The Community
School’s first state title in boys’ doubles.
The three Community School individual titles was the first time a
Blaine County school has crowned three state champs in the same year.
The last Wood River player to win two straight state boys’ singles
titles was Wood River’s John Driscoll in 1989-90. John Jacoby won
state for The Community School in 1985 and for Wood River in 1986.
other Wood River girls’ singles winner—Tory Thornton (CS) in
state championship match between Blaine County players is becoming more
Wood River players never faced off in a state title match. Since there
have been four such encounters—Lauren Drew against Katie Sanders in 2000
and Drew against Tami Parten last year; also, Casey Werth and Vince
Nagashima against Carson Sofro and Alex McCoy last year, and Nagashima-Tate
Mills playing Joel Evans and Luke Fostvedt in 2002.
There was some discussion about the Idaho High School Activities
Association moving the 3A portion of the state tennis meet back to Sun
Valley, where it was last held in 1995.
The Community School is averaging 69 points for each state meet the
past six years.
Community School coach Mark Scribner said he’d like to come back
and coach the Cutthroats next spring, if that’s what the school wants.
like to coach four or five more years," said Scribner.
children graduating, Warm Springs Tennis Club head pro Scribner and his
wife Kathy will leave in the fall for Palm Desert, where they plan to
spend the winter and return about March 1.