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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of May 22 - 28, 2002


Shortly 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, Cutthroats double 
their pleasure

Second straight state tennis championship

Express Staff Writer

Piling up 56 points and two state championships in singles, The Community School tennis team waltzed to its second straight State 3A championship Saturday in Boise.

Unstoppable 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.

Coach Mark 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."

Senior 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.

Joel Evans (left) and Luke Fostvedt, The Community School’s first-ever state champion in boys’ doubles. Express photo by David N. Seelig

It wasn’t that the Cutthroats didn’t have competition. All the winners were tested and responded with aplomb.

Lauren 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.

"That 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 she played."

Jones had 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.

Similarly, 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.

Coach Scribner said, "The Fruitland kid really improved over last year. Ryan knew he was in a dogfight but he handled himself well."

With a 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.

Scribner 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."

In boys’ 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).

Evans and Fostvedt were too powerful for Wood River’s Vince Nagashima and Tate Mills in the championship. The Cutthroat pair won 7-5, 6-4.

Seniors 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.

Tami Parten placed fourth in girls’ singles and future star Tyler Martin, just a freshman, picked up his first two state singles victories last weekend.


Girls’ doubles to WRHS

The pairing 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.

Lakey and 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.

It wasn’t 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.

Bohner, limited in playing time because of a wrist injury this season, was a late replacement for Dondero’s partner Brisa Ayub (wisdom teeth).

Meanwhile, 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.

But Evans and Fostvedt prevailed 7-5, 6-4. Still, Nagashima and Mills won three straight-set matches to earn the final.

It meant two second places for Wood River—Dondero and Bohner, Nagashima and Mills.

Wood River 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.


Views of the Drews

From a 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:

·  Uriah 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).


·  Caity 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.)


Facts from state tennis

·  Lauren Drew put her name in the Idaho tennis record books along with Stephanie Chi of Centennial.

Unbeaten in 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 Los Angeles.

·  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.

The only other Wood River girls’ singles winner—Tory Thornton (CS) in 1986.

·  A state championship match between Blaine County players is becoming more common.

Until 2000, 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.

"I’d like to coach four or five more years," said Scribner.

With their 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.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.