2009 Articles

2008-2009 Articles
2009 SEASON RECAP
The 2009 Redbird tennis season brought perhaps higher expectations than any season in the history of tennis at Metamora High School.  After all, the 2008 MTHS boys tennis squad had won a second straight Mid-Illini title, a second straight IHSA sectional crown, and the first ever IHSTCA Class A state championship, while qualifying all six players for the state tournament for the first time.  Four of those six state qualifiers returned for 2009, so the expectations continued to grow.  The ’09 squad met these expectations head on and compiled its own list of impressive results along the way.

The Redbirds became the first Mid-Illini team in nine years to sweep through the conference season unbeaten and win the conference tournament.  Metamora’s dominance in the league was best shown during the dual matches, only one of which was not won by a score of 9-0.  Included among the 9-0 wins was a very satistying senior night victory over Morton, a school that has been very hard to defeat through the years and certainly impossible to beat 9-0.

The Mid-Illini title was Metamora’s third straight; a week later, the Redbirds won their third straight IHSA sectional at Ottawa High School.  It was Metamora’s fifth sectional plaque in the last seven years.

The Mid-Illini race saw Dunlap defeat Morton in a dual match but then finish behind the Potters in the league tournament.  Therefore, Morton finished 2nd overall and Dunlap 3rd.  A much improved Pekin squad finished 4th, followed by East Peoria, Washington, and Limestone.

At the conference tournament, the Redbirds earned titles in both doubles events.  Juniors David Stewart and Nate Wilson captured the #1 championship, while seniors Alex Corwin and Jared Rauh won the #2 crown.  In the seven years the Mid-Illini has had two doubles divisions at the conference tournament, Metamora has now won 9 of the 14 possible doubles championships!

Junior Stephan Rauh finished second at #1 singles, losing to four-time champion Brock Reiman of Morton.  The loss came only six days after Rauh had defeated Reiman in the dual match, Reiman’s first singles defeat in four years of Mid-Illini play.  Junior Ryan Donnelly had a match point at #2 singles, but would up finishing second to Dunlap’s Spencer Graves.

The rest of the regular season featured some high quality match-ups for the Metamora tennis team, highlighted by non-conference clashes with Bloomington, Richwoods, Notre Dame, Ottawa, and Troy Triad.
Here are some highlights:

*  Metamora’s season began with wins over Danville and Moline at the indoor quad.

*  The Redbirds won the Red & White Invitational outright for the first time, with Stephan Rauh capturing the singles title.

*  MTHS came within a third-set tie-breaker of winning the 16-team Bloomington Invite.  Metamora scored an all-time high of 33 points in the event.  Stephan Rauh won the #1 singles title.  David Stewart and Nate Wilson finished 2nd at #1 doubles, losing in a third set tie-breaker in the championship match.  All 5 of Metamora’s entries reached the semi-finals of their respective flights.

*  Metamora repeated as Peoria High Invite champs, recording a perfect score of 28 points.  Stephan Rauh beat Ryan Donnelly in the singles final, while David Stewart and Nate Wilson beat Alex Corwin and Dan Russell in the doubles championship.

*  Despite playing without two of its top players, Metamora captured its third straight sectional title.  The Redbirds finished 1st and 2nd in doubles for the second straight year, with Stephan Rauh and David Stewart beating teammates Greg Coffman and Jared Rauh for the sectional title.  Quinn Vaughn and Ryan Donnelly scored enough points in the singles draw to allow Metamora to win the sectional plaque.

Here are a very few individual highlights:

*  David Stewart and Stephan Rauh have each won two sectional titles and will attempt to tie Tyler Lampe next year with three.

*  Stephan Rauh established a new record at Metamora with three regular season singles titles – Red & White, Peoria High, and Bloomington.

*  All six Redbirds were named first or second team all-conference for the third straight year.  Stephan Rauh, Ryan Donnelly, David Stewart, and Nate Wilson were named to the first team, while Alex Corwin and Jared Rauh were honored on the second team.

For the fifteenth year in a row, Metamora was unbeaten against Limestone, East Peoria, and Washington, extending the school’s overall winning streak against those three teams to 82.

Mid-Illini teams continued to experience outstanding post-season success.  Metamora won the Ottawa sectional, Morton won the Bloomington sectional, and Dunlap won the Peoria sectional, marking the first time the conference has had three sectional champs in the same year.  Those three teams and Pekin qualified 15 players for the state tournament.  Doubles in the league was again an all-time best, at least for depth.  Metamora’s two doubles teams played each other in the sectional final.  Dunlap’s two doubles teams did the same.  Morton’s #1 team won the sectional.  It was remarkable doubles domination from a league in three different sectionals.

Stewart and Rauh won four matches at the state tournament (three in the main draw) and represented Metamora on hte second day of state, the eighth year in a row Metamora has had players play on that day.  The duo came within a few points of being the first Redbirds to ever compete on Saturday, a day reserved for the top 12 singles and doubles players.  Rauh and Stewart finished 13th-16th, losing their final match 6-4 in the third set.
Rauh and Stewart were named the team’s Most Valuable Players.  Greg Coffman and Jared Rauh were named Best Teammates.
The Redbirds again qualified for the IHSTCA team state tournament and played well throughout the weekend.  After an opening 5-0 victory over Southern Illinois power Teutopolis, Metamora matched up with Chicago Latin.  Latin ultimately prevailed, winning the final match 10-8 in a third set tie-breaker to advance.  In the state third place match, Metamora beat conference rival Dunlap, 4-1, to earn another impressive state trophy.

The 2009 season was again full of wonderful memories, moments, and happenings.  Again in 2010, Metamora will return much of the previous year’s talent to the courts, so expectations will continue to be high.  The 2010 Redbirds will lose the services of Alex Corwin and Jared Rauh.  Those two seniors were large reasons Metamora was able to retain the Mid-Illini title for the third straight year and will certainly be missed.

It will be the job of the returnees to not be satisfied with this year’s results but to instead continue to strive to build upon them.  Next year’s seniors will be in the unusual position of never having finished lower than 1st in the conference or at the sectional.  Certainly, they will set their sights on graduating from high school with that record still intact.
Metamora has won four conference titles in the last seven years and five sectional crowns.  There have been countless individual triumphs and awards as well.  The successes on the courts are only part of the story, though.  The Redbird varsity tennis team creates memories and experiences that will, hopefuly, be treasured for a lifetime.  I know I count myself very lucky to be able to be part of the Redbird tennis program.  I have absolutely no doubt that the dedication, results, and memories will continue to come.

This coach is again extremely proud of the season the Redbirds put together in 2009.
Congratulations to all on an exceptional year!!!
 Redbird THREE-PEAT
East Peoria — The 2009 Redbird tennis team crossed another goal off its list Monday night, as Metamora recorded its third straight Mid-Illini Conference tournament championship at Illinois Central College.  The tournament title, combined with Metamora’s 6-0 dual match record, gave the Redbirds their third straight overall conference title.

Metamora won titles at #1 and #2 doubles, with juniors David Stewart and Nate Wilson defeating Morton’s Phil Reinken and Tate Hohulin 7-6(1), 6-3 in a well-played #1 final.  At #2 doubles, seniors Alex Corwin and Jared Rauh met surprise Morton finalists Josh Bailey and Nate Imig and prevailed 6-2, 6-1 to claim the crown.

The #1 singles title went to Morton’s Brock Reiman, who played nearly flawlessly in defeating Metamora junior Stephan Rauh, 6-2, 6-1.  It was Reiman’s fourth title in four years, a new conference record.  The #2 singles title narrowly eluded Metamora junior Ryan Donnelly, who held match point at 5-3 in the third set before losing to Dunlap’s Spencer Graves, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5.

The level of competition in the Mid-Illini has remained so high that this year represented the first time since 2000 that any team went unbeaten in the league and won the conference tournament.  This Redbird tennis team can be very proud of recording such an accomplishment in a league this good.

Congratulations to the entire Redbird tennis family on another outstanding accomplishment!!

 Pitchford Provides Stiff Competition
Arlington Heights — The Metamora tennis team ventured north for the weekend of May 1 and 2 and found the best competition the state of Illinois has to offer.  The Tom Pitchford Invitational, also known as “mini-state,” features 32 of the best teams in the state in an annual preview of the state tournament a few weeks later.  The Redbirds competed hard against the quality competition and had its highest finish in school history.  Metamora placed 15th out of 32, two spots higher than ever before.

Stephan Rauh, a #9-16 seed in the #1 singles flight, recorded his third win of the year over U-High’s Andre Aung, 6-3, 6-1.  He also dominated Cole Grace from Rockford Guilford, 6-3, 6-2.  His other three matches, however, did not go as easily.  Rauh was dispatched by Deerfield’s Ben Shklyar in the second round, 6-1, 6-0, his second loss on the season to the Warrior sophomore.  Belleville West’s Max McLean survived a difficult 8 am tilt on Saturday morning with Rauh, as the sophomore lefty held on for a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 victory.  Rauh’s other loss on the weekend came at the hands of Chicago Latin’s Ben Quazzo, 6-1, 6-3.  Overall, Rauh finished 14th in the daunting 32-player field.

Ryan Donnelly had difficulty in the #2 singles draw.  He met Hinsdale Central sensation Krishna Ravella in the first round, losing 6-0, 6-0.  Donnelly rebounded in the second match of the day to defeat Bloomington senior Derek Novacek, 6-0, 6-0.  His last two matches, though, did not go as planned for the Redbird junior.  Donnelly lost to Warren’s Jon Donnowitz, 6-1, 6-4 before also losing his final match of the day, 6-1, 6-2.

Metamora’s #1 doubles team played a very good tournament.  In the first round, David Stewart and Nate Wilson defeated a nice team from Chicago Latin, 6-2, 7-5.  The Latin duo won its next three matches in the back draw.  Metamora’s second round opponent was the top seed in the tournament from Stevenson.  The Redbirds couldn’t convert a 4-2 first-set lead or a 3-1 second set advantage and fell 6-4, 6-3.  A winnable match the next morning against Belleville West was a frustrating 6-3, 6-4 defeat.  Stewart and Wilson rebounded to beat a quality Downers Grove North duo, 6-3, 7-5, before losing their last match of the day to Barrington, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 in a match that may have been more about fatigue than strokes.  Stewart and Wilson finished 14th.

The #2 doubles duo of Alex Corwin and Jared Rauh had an exceptional debut tournament.  Metamora beat U-High in the first round before running into Stevenson in the second round.  After a 6-3 first-set loss, Metamora exploded to a 4-0 second set lead before running out of steam and losing 7-5.  The Stevenson duo went on to finish 3rd overall.  Metamora then recorded very nice wins over Belleville West and Gurnee Warren (a top eight seeded team) before losing to Barrington in the 9th place match, 7-5, 6-0.

All in all, it was an exciting tournament for Metamora Redbird tennis players.  With its best tournament finish in school history, the Redbird tennis team is now ready to meet the rest of the season with even higher expectations.

See complete Metamora results here.

 Metamora Narrowly Misses Bloomington Title
Bloomington — The Redbird tennis team had a great day Saturday, April 11 at the Purple and Gold Invitational in Bloomington.  Metamora came within a tie-breaker of winning the tournament as a team, instead settling for a second place tie with Springfield.  Metamora and Springfield both scored 33 points on the day; Edwardsville won the team title with 37.

The Redbirds won their first singles title in the history of the event, with junior Stephan Rauh capturing the #1 singles flight.  Rauh defeated Felix Nitzsche of St. Charles North in the quarterfinals before meeting Springfield freshman Patrick Gaffigan in the semis.  Gaffigan’s punishing ground strokes allowed him to stay in the match, but Rauh wound up on the right side of a 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 score.  In the finals, Rauh beat Normal U-High’s Andre Aung, 6-2, 6-4.

Metamora’s other finalist on the day was its #1 doubles team, juniors Nate Wilson and David Stewart.  The pair won a first round match easily before meeting Danville in the quarterfinals.  The Redbirds had lost to Danville earlier in the season but played well to record a 7-5, 6-2 triumph.  The semi-finals brought St. Charles North, who had defeated Springfield’s #1 doubles team in the previous round.  Stewart and Wilson played well again, recording a 7-5, 6-4 victory to advance to the #1 finals for the first time in school history.  In the finals, the duo played nearly flawlessly for the first set, winning it 6-3 over the Edwardsville duo of Leskera and Leskera.  After Edwardsville regrouped to take the second set, the third set was thrilling tennis.  The set eventually reached a tie-break, with Edwardsville pulling it out, 7-5.  Had Metamora prevailed in this tie-break, the Redbirds would have tied Edwardsville for the tournament title.

At #2 singles, junior Ryan Donnelly had a productive day, finishing 3-1.  He defeated players from Danville, Bloomington, and Champaign Centennial and lost to Springfield’s Ross White.  Donnelly captured 3rd place.

Metamora’s #2 doubles team of seniors Alex Corwin and Dan Russell also finished 3rd in their flight.  The duo shook off their dreadful doubles performance from last Tuesday against Dunlap to win matches over Lockport, Normal Community, and St. Charles North.  Their only setback on the day came in three sets against Edwardsville in the semi-finals.

Metamora’s #3 doubles team of senior Jared Rauh and junior Greg Coffman finished 4th in their flight.  The pair opened with wins over Bradley-Bourbonnais and Danville and built a 5-2 first set lead over Springfield in the semi-finals before losing, 7-5, 6-4.  Rauh and Coffman lost a third set tie-breaker to St. Charles North for third place.

The Redbirds were the only school to have all five of its entries reach the semi-finals of their respective flights.  Congratulations to all on a successful tournament!

See complete Metamora results here.

Redbirds Repeat as Peoria High Invite Champs
Redbirds Play Each Other in Both Championship Matches
East Peoria — The 2009 Peoria High Invitational took place on a nice April day at Illinois Central College on Saturday, April 4, and the Metamora Redbird tennis team won every possible match for the second consecutive year on its way to the team championship.
This weekend, there were not separate #1 and #2 draws for singles and doubles; all singles players competed in one draw, and all doubles teams fought through another draw.  Therefore, it was possible to play against one’s teammates toward the end of the day if everyone kept winning.
In the singles draw, Metamora junior Stephan Rauh rolled through his four matches, losing a total of 1 game on the day.  MTHS junior Ryan Donnelly also reached the championship match, needing one tie-breaker in his semi-final match before regrouping to win the second set, 6-1.  In the finals, Rauh proved too consistent and powerful, defeating Donnelly, 6-1, 6-0.

The doubles final was also an all Metamora affair, with juniors Nate Wilson and David Stewart narrowly holding off the rapidly improving team of seniors Alex Corwin and Danny Russell, 3-6, 6-1, 7-5.  Corwin and Russell jumped to a 4-2 lead in the third set of the championship before Wilson and Stewart turned it on to finish the match.  Both doubles teams can be very pleased with the high quality play in the finals.

See the complete team standings below.  See complete Metamora results here.
2009 Peoria High Invitational Results
 
Total Points
Place
Metamora
28
1st
Lincoln
12
2nd
Pontiac
9
3rd
East Peoria
7
4th
Peoria Central
7
4th
Washington
5
6th
East Moline
4
7th
Limestone
3
8th

Redbirds Win Red & White Title Outright for First Time

Peoria— The 2009 Red & White Invitational, held at The Clubs at River City, was held using a different format than ever before.  A terrible Saturday forecast combined with limited indoor availability led Metamora to offer a four-team event on Friday night rather than the traditional 8-team tournament.  Each team entered two singles players and two doubles teams, and the #1s and #2s played in the same draws, much like sectional play.  Rockford Guilford, Ottawa, and Peoria Notre Dame joined the Redbirds, beginning play at 4:00 and finishing just after 11:00.  It was a great alternative on a weekend that didn’t offer much weather hope.
Metamora won the team title with 28 points, with Guilford collecting 23 for second place.  Notre Dame scored 16 and Ottawa 7 to round out the field.  It was Metamora’s third Red & White title, but the previous two had both been shared with Guilford (2003 and 2008), so the night represented Metamora’s best Red & White effort to date.

The singles draw was highly competitive, as each team’s #1 advanced through the first round to reach the semi-finals.  In one semi, Metamora junior Stephan Rauh played nearly flawlessly in knifing through Ottawa senior Alex Fleshman, 6-1, 6-1.  In the other semi, Notre Dame junior Peter Heidrich held off Rockford Guilford senior Cole Grace, 6-2, 7-5.

The championship singles match was wildly entertaining.  Rauh bolted to a 5-0 first set lead behind punishing ground strokes, but Heidrich regrouped and battled back to send the set into a tie-break before succumbing 7-6 (5).  The second set saw Heidrich jump to a 5-2 lead, but Rauh scraped and clawed to force a tie-break.  After facing one set point, Rauh finished off the match, 8-6 in the tie-break.  Both competitors can be proud of the caliber of play they exhibited and the sportsmanship shown throughout the match.

Cole Grace defeated Alex Fleshman for third place, 6-1, 6-3.  In the fifth place match, Notre Dame junior Scott Caughey, who had extended Fleshman to three sets in the first round, defeated Metamora junior Ryan Donnelly, 7-6 (3), 6-2, in the de facto #2 singles championship.

The doubles draw was equally as compelling for the spectators.  Guilford’s #1 doubles team of seniors Danny Park and Austin Roos defeated Metamora juniors David Stewart and Nate Wilson, 6-4, 6-2, in a well-played final.  Both teams showed flashes of brilliance, with the Guilford duo coming up a little bigger in a couple of return games.  Park was on a doubles team that finished 4th in the state last year, and the Guilford coach indicated this year’s duo is better.  If that is true, it was a pretty good showing by Stewart and Wilson.

Metamora’s #2 doubles team of Alex Corwin and Dan Russell defeated Guilford’s #2 squad in the third place match, 6-1, 6-3.  The Guilford team featured Johnny Brandon, who won three matches at the state tournament last year in doubles, so this result was also very promising for Corwin and Russell.  The Metamora duo also defeated Ottawa’s#1 doubles team in the first round, 7-6 (3), 6-0, before losing to Park and Roos in the semis.

All 4 teams can be very pleased at the high level of competition for this early in the season.  Good luck to all of them throughout the 2009 season.  See the team standings below.  See complete Metamora resultshere.
2009 Red & White Invitational Results
 
#1 Singles
#2 Singles
#1 Doubles
#2 Doubles
Total Points
Place
Metamora
12
2
8
6
28
1st
Guilford
6
1
12
4
23
2nd
Notre Dame
8
4
4
0
16
3rd
Ottawa
4
0
2
1
7
4th

Season Opens with Indoor Quad

Redbirds Have Quality First Competition
Peoria — The 2009 season officially began Saturday with the Seventh Annual Metamora Indoor Quad, held at The Clubs at River City.  This event has showcased outstanding tennis for many years, and this year’s event was certainly no exception.
Metamora has progressed from only 2 wins out of 15 matches in 2007 to 8 wins last year to a new record of 9 wins this year.  The Redbirds scored their second consecutive mini-dual win over Moline and defeated Danville again as well.  Metamora competed as hard as possible against Deerfield, winning two of the five matches.
Metamora vs Danville
Metamora completed its second consecutive convincing win over Danville, posting a 4-1 team score.  Stephan Rauh swept through his singles match, 6-0, 6-0, while the Redbirds also recorded wins at #2 singles (Ryan Donnelly), #2 doubles (Jared Rauh and Alex Corwin), and #3 doubles (Greg Coffman and Dan Russell).  The only negative to come from this mini-dual was the loss of a winnable #1 doubles match, 6-3, 7-5, for juniors David Stewart and Nate Wilson.
METAMORA 4, DANVILLE 1
Stephan Rauh (Metamora)
d
Ashish Patel (Danville)
6-0,6-0
Ryan Donnelly (Metamora)
d
Aasif Ahmed (Danville)
6-1,7-6(4)
Clapper / Reddy (Danville)
d
Stewart / Wilson (Metamora)
6-3,7-5
Corwin / J. Rauh (Metamora)
d
Butcher / Hardy (Danville)
6-1,6-3
Coffman / Russell (Metamora)
d
Merrick / Grider (Danville)
6-0,6-0

Metamora vs Moline
Moline returned four of its top five players from last year and debuted a solid freshman and a very good new-to-the-program sophomore.  Metamora played very good tennis, though, in holding off the Maroons for the second consecutive year, 3-2.  Stephan Rauh recorded an impressive 7-5, 7-5 win over fellow junior Ian Golden.  Ryan Donnelly won a 3-set match at #2 singles, and Metamora showed its depth by winning at #3 doubles (Jared Rauh and Greg Coffman).
METAMORA 3, MOLINE 2
Stephan Rauh (Metamora)
d
Ian Golden (Moline)
7-5,7-5
Ryan Donnelly (Metamora)
d
Ty Buenting (Moline)
6-1,6-7(5),6-3
Sandholm / Wood (Moline)
d
Stewart / Wilson (Metamora)
6-4,6-3
Boyle / White (Moline)
d
Corwin / Russell (Metamora)
6-1,6-2
J. Rauh / Coffman (Metamora)
d
Moore / Ford (Moline)
6-3,7-6(5)

Metamora vs Deerfield
Deerfield has a varsity line-up that is talented, deep, and experienced.  Metamora was handled 5-0 last year by the Warriors.  This year, though, the matches were more closely contested, with the Redbirds prevailing in two of the five.  Ryan Donnelly completed a 3-0 day at #2 singles, while the match of the day was at #1 doubles.  Metamora’s David Stewart and Nate Wilson, who had looked a little rough earlier in the afternoon, battled with the day’s best doubles team, Deerfield’s Lieberman and Friend.  In a nailbiter that certainly could have gone either way, Metamora ultimately prevailed 9-7 in a third set tie-breaker to finish the day with a very positive result.
DEERFIELD 3, METAMORA 2
Ben Shklyar (Deerfield)
d
Stephan Rauh (Metamora)
6-1,6-0
Ryan Donnelly (Metamora)
d
Josh Sylvan (Deerfield)
6-3,6-4
Stewart / Wilson (Metamora)
d
Lieberman / Friend (Deerfield)
3-6,6-2,7-6(7)
Kolof / Felder (Deerfield)
d
Corwin / Russell (Metamora)
6-7(4),6-1,6-2
Gruenhut / Kominsky (Deerfield)
d
J. Rauh / Coffman (Metamora)
6-1,6-4

2009 Mid-Illini Boys Tennis Preview

 
Metamora – The 2009 Mid-Illini Conference boys tennis race will likely be another very competitive one. Two-time defending champion Metamora returns four of its top five players from a year ago, while league runner-up Morton brings back three-time defending conference singles champion Brock Reiman for his senior campaign. Dunlap, third place the last two years, will be talented and deep as usual, while Pekin should continue to emerge as a Mid-Illini power.
The league returns a ridiculously high 10 state qualifiers from last year, with Reiman (third team all-state) leading the way. Other returning qualifiers include Metamora’s Stephan Rauh, David Stewart, Ryan Donnelly, and Nate Wilson, Morton’s Phil Reinken, Dunlap’s Alex Clark, Nick Skender, and Spencer Graves, and Pekin’s Bryten Brill.
Last year, the Mid-Illini experienced great success at the sectional level, with Metamora and Morton each capturing sectional titles. The doubles results were particularly impressive, as evidenced by the following sectional championship matches:
Ottawa Sec.               Stewart / Lampe (MET)           d            Wilson / Elliott (MET)
Bloomington Sec.       Christison / LaHood (MOR)      d            Sollberger / Reinken (MOR)
Peoria Sec.                Clark / O’Connor (DUN)            d            Skender / Graves (DUN)
It has now been 15 years since Metamora, Morton, or Dunlap has lost to another Mid-Illini team. Potentially the best challenger in ’09 looks to be Pekin. The Dragons return a wealth of experience to their line-up, and they will try to end the big three’s conference record of 213-0 against the rest of the league over the past fourteen seasons. East Peoria, Washington, and Limestone may be looking at an uphill battle against the other four schools in ’09.
Dunlap will debut its sixth varsity head coach of the decade, Jon Allison. Limestone will also feature a new boss, Bill Wallinger, after the 14-year tenure of Chuck Sanders came to an end last spring.  
 
(Metamora has been unranked)  
Predicted M-I Finish
Last Year’s Result
Last Seven Years
Metamora  (Kelly Willard – 12thyear)
16-3 (1st)
88-21
1.  Dunlap  (Jon Allison – 1styear)
10-4 (3rd)
84-22
2.  Morton  (Joal Stanfield – 5thyear)
10-3 (2nd)
80-15
3.  Pekin  (TBA – 1st year)
6-5 (4th)
NA
4.  East Peoria  (Shane Smith – 8th year)
4-5 (6th)
27-60
5.  Limestone  (Bill Wallinger – 1st year)
1-9 (7th)
30-67
6.  Washington  (Dave Krostal – 9th year)
4-8 (5th)
37-64
MORTON
Long Gone
  • Mike LaHood – three-time all-conference, three-time state qualifier, all-state 2007 (3rd team), Mid-Illini doubles champion (2006), two-time sectional doubles champion (2007, 2008).
  • Michael Christison – three-time all-conference, two-time state qualifier, all-state 2007 (3rd team), Mid-Illini #2 singles champion (2007), Mid-Illini #2 singles runner-up (2008), two-time sectional doubles champion (2007, 2008)
  • Sam Sollberger – state qualifier, sectional doubles runner-up (2008)
  • Aaron Roecker – Mid-Illini #2 doubles runner-up (2008).
Returning for More:
  • Brock Reiman—three-time all-conference, three-time state qualifier, three-time all-state (2nd team once, 3rd team twice), three-time Mid-Illini singles champion (2006, 2007, 2008), two-time sectional champion (doubles – 2006, singles – 2007), sectional runner-up (singles – 2008), Peoria Journal Star Co-Player of the Year (2006).
  • Phil Reinken – state qualifier, sectional doubles runner-up (2008).
  • Josh Bailey.
Potter Outlook:
Reiman will again lead the way in ’09 for the Potters, and fellow senior Phil Reinken will be a very solid #2 player. Morton will be more inexperienced than usual in the bottom half of its line-up, but will rely on a frosh / soph group that won the Mid-Illini title in ’08 to fill in the pieces.  Morton may struggle to retain its sectional title in Bloomington in ’09, as both Normal U-High and Bloomington High School look to be strong. Reiman will be the singles favorite, but depth will again play a key role in Morton’s quest for a fifth outright sectional title in the last six years.
Interesting Facts:
  • Brock Reiman has two sectional titles in his high school career. This year, he will try to join Metamora’s Tyler Lampe and Dunlap’s Jared Kunkle as the only Mid-Illini players in history to win three sectional crowns.
DUNLAP
Long Gone
  • Martin O’Connor – Mid-Illini doubles champion (2008), all-conference, two-time state qualifier, sectional doubles champion (2008).
  • Alex Boerckel.
Returning for More:
  • Alex Clark — state qualifier(2006, 2008), Mid-Illini singles runner-up (2007), Mid-Illini singles champion (#2 – 2006), Mid-Illini doubles champion (2008).
  • Nick Skender — state qualifier, sectional runner-up (doubles – 2008).
  • Spencer Graves—state qualifier, sectional runner-up (doubles – 2008).
  • Dan Wang, Dan Sahm, Austin Andersen.
Eagle Outlook:
Dunlap will begin the 2009 campaign with its sixth coach of the decade.  Jon Allison has assumed the coaching throne at DHS. Depth should again be a key to Dunlap’s success, with seniors Alex Clark and Spencer Graves and junior Nick Skender leading the way.  Despite continually fielding excellent tennis teams, Dunlap will begin the 2009 campaign having not won a Mid-Illini or sectional title in seven years. In four of the last six seasons, Dunlap has finished 3rd in the rugged Mid-Illini.
Interesting Facts
  • Dunlap’s two doubles teams played each other in last year’s Peoria Sectional final. That marked the fourth time this decade that Dunlap teams have battled each other in the doubles championship match (2001, 2002, 2005, 2008).
  • Dunlap is 6-4 against Morton in the last six seasons and is 3-7 against Metamora.
  • Despite beating Morton 6 times in the last 6 years, Dunlap has finished behind the Potters in the Mid-Illini Conference in every one of the last 6 seasons.
WASHINGTON
Long Gone:  
  • Devin Norton, Danny Corray, Derek High, Marcus Taylor, Mike Cyrs, Craig Hines, Mike Vroman.
Returning for More:
  • Matt Vroman, Dakoda Lanier.
Panther Outlook:
After a last place finish in the Mid-Illini in 2007, Washington rebounded to finish 5th last year. However, the great majority of last year’s team has moved on, and the Panthers will likely find winning matches in the league to be very difficult in ’09.
Interesting Facts:
  • Washington has not defeated Morton, Metamora, or Dunlap since 1994, compiling a dual record of 0-71 against those three schools during that time period.
EAST PEORIA
  • No information available on returning players.
Raider Outlook:
No information available.
Interesting Facts:
  • East Peoria has not defeated Morton, Metamora, or Dunlap since 1994, sporting a cumulative record of 0-70 in dual matches against those three schools during that time period.
PEKIN
Long Gone:  
·        Max Weiler.
Returning for More:
  • Bryten Brill (state qualifier).
  • Branden Brill, Jeremy Milam, Blake Butler, Brent Myers, Erick Smith.
Dragon Outlook:
Pekin continued its rapid improvement in 2008, moving up to 4th place in the Mid-Illini Conference. The Dragons are hungry for more climbing in ’09, as they will return their top 5 players from a year ago. Pekin finds itself in a position to compete with the top three teams in the league for the Mid-Illini crown. The Dragons will attempt to become the first Mid-Illini foe to post a dual match win over Metamora, Morton, or Dunlap in 15 years.
Interesting Facts:
  • Between 1943 and 1975, Pekin was a tennis power, winning 20 district titles.  In the last 30 years, though, the Dragons have only one sectional title (1992).
LIMESTONE
No information available on returning players.
Rocket Outlook:
Limestone has finished 0-32 in Mid-Illini matches over the past four seasons.  On the positive side, the Rockets are 14-11 in non-conference dual matches over the past three years, but winning inside the league continues to be difficult.  Coach Chuck Sanders no longer prowls the sidelines for Limestone, as his retirement has led to the new coaching regime of Bill Wallinger.
Interesting Facts:
  • Limestone has never defeated Morton, Metamora, or Dunlap.
METAMORA
Long Gone
  • Tyler Lampe – three-time all-conference, three-time state qualifier, honorable mention all-state (2006), Mid-Illini doubles champion (2007), Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (2008), three-time sectional champion (doubles — 2006, 2007, 2008).
  • Matt Elliott – state qualifier, sectional runner-up (doubles – 2008), Mid-Illini doubles champion (#2 – 2008).
  • Justin Cregger – Mid-Illini singles runner-up (#2 – 2007).
Returning for More:
  • Stephan Rauh—two-time all-conference, two-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles champion (2007), Mid-Illini singles runner-up (2008), sectional champion (doubles — 2007), sectional runner-up (singles – 2008) .
  • David Stewart—two-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles champion (2008), Mid-Illini champion (#2 — 2007), sectional champion (doubles – 2008).
  • Nate Wilson—two-time state qualifier, two-time Mid-Illini doubles champion (#2 – 2007, 2008), sectional runner-up (doubles – 2008).
  • Ryan Donnelly—two-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini singles champion (#2 – 2008).
  • Alex Corwin, Jared Rauh, Dan Russell, Greg Coffman.
Redbird Outlook:
After two years of being the young team that still had tremendous results, Metamora enters the 2009 season with a more seasoned look.  The top four returnees on this year’s team are still only juniors, but it is possible that Metamora’s entire top six group will be upperclassmen for the first time in quite a while.  All four of the juniors are two-time state qualifiers and will look to lead Metamora to another stellar season.  The 2008 IHSTCA State Champion Metamora Redbirds have won the last two Mid-Illini and sectional championships and certainly will have its sights set on more successes in 2009.
Interesting Facts:
  • After not ever winning a sectional singles or doubles title for the first 16 years of the tennis program at Metamora, the Redbirds have now had a sectional champion seven years in a row (2002 – Ty Wyffels, 2003 – Ty Wyffels, 2004 – Kyle Shoff and Nate Rauh, 2005 – Nate Rauh, 2006 – Nick Vaughn and Tyler Lampe, 2007 – Stephan Rauh and Tyler Lampe, 2008 – Tyler Lampe and David Stewart).
  • Metamora has qualified sixteen doubles teams for the state tournament in the last 12 seasons.  Prior to then, Metamora had only qualified one doubles team in school history.
  • The Redbirds have recorded nine dual match wins over Dunlap since 2001.
  • Metamora had players in all four Mid-Illini championship matches last year. That was the first time that had happened since 2003, when the Redbirds swept all four flights at the conference tournament.