ATASCADERO — With ominous clouds looming off in the distance, the Atascadero and Templeton boys tennis teams squared off on Tuesday at Heilman Park. Due to the construction happening at Atascadero High School, all of the matches and practices will take place at the courts in the park.
The change of scenery from fences and parking lots to a court shrouded in old, stately oak trees was perfect for an Atascadero vs. Templeton match. The Eagles come into the season as the favorites in the Los Padres League after winning the team title last year, the single title, and only graduating two players from their team.
“The boys are pretty focused,” Templeton Head Coach Mary K Housinger said. “They won the Los Padres League team championship last year and we are returning seven varsity players. So we feel the experience that we had last year, plus a year of maturity is very beneficial, but you never know what the other teams have so we just take it one match at a time and do the best we can on any given day.”
The Eagles won the match against the Hounds handily, 16-2, and were led by their two-time defending singles champion Colby Grey. Grey has won the LPL singles title and advanced to CIF in both of his first seasons at Templeton and is beginning to appear on college radars.
On the doubles side, the Eagles return four players from last year’s teams. Patrick Koski, Brandon Gilliss, Dylan Amadio and Chris Murray will, in some order, make up the Eagles top two doubles teams.
Jackson Hayes played doubles for Templeton last year but has decided to play singles in his senior year and will play in the No. 2 spot behind Grey.
The Greyhounds enter the season on a very different path than the Eagles, only having one senior on the roster. This season the Hounds will be working on fundamentals and strategy and build for the future.
In Tuesday’s match, Nate Hontz was the lone Hound able to win a game against the Eagles. Hontz won two of his three singles matches while feeling less than 100 percent.
Atascadero and Templeton will both play home matches on Tuesday. The Greyhounds will host Righetti and the Eagles will host Orcutt Academy.