Grand Island Central Catholic has to like its chances of doing well at the Class B state tennis tournament.
The Crusaders have all four of their teams seeded going into the tournament, which begins at 9 a.m. Thursday at Woods Tennis Center in Lincoln.
GICC coach James Lowry said the four teams deserve what they got for the state tennis meet.
“They’ve worked hard all year to earn where they are at going into the state tournament,” Lowry said. “I know it’s on paper but we’re pretty happy with the seeds that they got.”
Daniel Martinez (16-0) earned the No. 1 seed at No. 2 singles, while Jacob McNamara and Jack Friesen (24-4) are the No. 1 seed at No. 2 doubles.
Lowry said he feels those individuals are deserving of being No. 1 seeds.
“Daniel has improved all year and has put in a lot of work. He’s a talented athlete and continues to get better as the year went on,” Lowry said. “He’s definitely earned the No. 1 seed. Hopefully he can put it together during the two days.
“And I can’t say enough about Jack and Jacob. Jack has played tennis for only two years and Jacob three years. Both have put in a lot of time into it. And they are great teammates to each other. They get along so well.”
Meanwhile, Eli Fox (22-4) is the No. 4 seed at No. 1 singles.
“Eli is a senior that’s been a great leader. He’s been playing No. 1 singles from the get-go,” Lowry said. “He helps the younger players with their serves. I can’t say enough about what he brings to the team as well as the other seniors.”
Jackson Farias and Jonathan Schardt (8-9) are the No. 7 seed at No. 1 doubles. Lowry said he’s been impressed with what the two GICC players have done.
“Jackson is a kid who has a lot of different tennis partners in his career and never complained. He works hard and he works well with everyone. He’s a kid that’s not hard to like,” Lowry said. “And Jonathan went from playing junior varsity last year and put in a lot of time over the summer to be a better player and this is only his second year. He’s worked hard on his game.”
Lowry said he’s enjoyed coaching this group all year long.
“They’ve been fun,” Lowry said. “They’ve come to practice every day and worked hard. And they get along with each other. They are always hanging out together and having a good time with each other.
Lowry said Class B appears to be wide open. He said teams like McCook, York, Elkhorn Mt. Michael, Omaha Skutt and others have a chance, but he wants the Crusaders to just go out and play.
“I just want our athletes to just go out and have fun,” Lowry said. “It’s the state meet, this is what we’ve been working towards all year.”
The Grand Island Senior High squad will head to Harry & Gail Koch Family Tennis Center at Tranquility Park for the Class A meet.
None of the Islanders are seeded.
In No. 1 singles, Joshua Grosvenor takes on No. 5 seeded Zachary Kuo of Elkhorn, while No. 2 singles player Jake Inthavongsa battles No. 11 seed Joel Sanford of Lincoln Southeast.
In No. 1 doubles, Matthew Ford and Wyatt Hohles takes on Lucas Leiting and Aiden DeBuhr of South Sioux City in a play match. The winner takes on Lincoln Southeast’s Graham Peterson and Grey Gergen, who are the No. 4 seed.
In No. 2 doubles, Grant Kohles and Adrian Melgoza battle Papillion-LaVista Elijah Feekin and Jackson Slizinski.