Oak Harbor High School tennis coach Horace Mells returns seven lettermen and expects the veterans to dominate the lineup this fall.
Back are seniors Harrison Miller, Casiano Atienza, Jacob Nelson, Jomar Dimaculangan and Jozef Mendoza; and juniors Carter Saar and Tom Dale. Oak Harbor lost only three players to graduation from last year’s 5-11 team.
In singles, Miller and Saar should hold down the top two singles slots with Atienza playing third or fourth.
Nelson and top newcomer freshman Jackson Wezeman will most likely man the other singles spot or join Dale in first doubles, according to Mells.
Dimaculangan and Mendoza are set for second doubles.
Newcomers moving up from the junior varsity, junior Kyle Martin and sophomores Isaac Deleon, Jared Hunt and Calib Byers, are in the mix for third and fourth doubles.
Mells said, “The team is pretty balanced this season. There is not a big difference in the ability level of the players.”
Stanwood is the favorite to take the Wesco North, Mells said, adding, “I expect us to finish as one of the two top teams in our division.” The Spartans (11-2) are the defending North champions; Oak Harbor (4-9) finished in a tie for third.
Oak Harbor starts the season with two 3:30 p.m. home, non-league matches. First, Lake Stevens visits Wednesday, Sept. 11, then Mountlake Terrace comes by Friday, Sept. 13.