2010 Articles

2010 Articles

Season Recap

The 2010 Redbird tennis team was one that will never be forgotten.  It was not only the finest tennis squad in school and quite possibly Mid-Illini history, but it was also filled with outstanding young men who made lifetime memories during this fabulous season.

Some of the accomplishments of the ’10 team seem impossible to imagine in a league as full of intense competition as the Mid-Illini Conference has been over the past decade.  However, this year’s group raised the bar in a league that had already set it remarkably high over the years.  Here are some of the 2010 team’s achievements:

*  Metamora swept through the Mid-Illini Conference unbeaten for the second straight year, winning every conference dual match by a 9-0 score.  The Redbirds also swept all four flights at the league tournament, thereby finishing the season with an overall record of 62-0 against Mid-Illini competition.  This perfection will be difficult for any conference team to ever duplicate.

*  Not only were the Redbirds Mid-Illini champs for the fourth straight year, they were also sectional champs for the fourth year in a row.  Metamora won the Peoria Sectional championship with ease, piling up 34 points (2nd place was 18 points).  Senior Stephan Rauh won the singles title over freshman teammate Kevin Wang.  Seniors David Stewart and Nate Wilson won the doubles title, while senior teammates Ryan Donnelly and Greg Coffman finished fourth.  It was the second time in three years that Metamora qualified all six players for the state meet.

*  Metamora’s tennis team won the season-opening indoor quad for the first time ever, besting Moline, Danville, and Springfield in a tremendous day of tennis at the start of the season.

*  The Redbirds also had fine tournaments at the Red & White Invite (2nd by one point to Barrington), Bloomington (3rd of 16), and Edwardsville (2nd of 16) as well as scoring their highest ever point total at mini-state.

*  Metamora ended the season with a 10th place finish at the single-class state tournament.  This finish represented only the second time in the last 35 years that a public school with under 1,000 students finished in the state’s top ten and was an achievement that will forever define the 2010 Metamora tennis team.

*  The Redbirds finished 21-1 in dual matches against some of the state’s best teams.  Wins over Gurnee Warren, Naperville Central, Springfield, Moline, Quincy, Troy Triad, Quincy Notre Dame, Bloomington, Richwoods, Pekin, and Danville were particularly impressive ones.  The only blemish on the record was a 3-2 setback to Edwardsville in the championship match of the Tiger Duals in Edwardsville.

Individually, the season was quite successful as well.  There were many individual achievements; here are a few.

*  Stephan Rauh won tournament titles at Metamora, Bloomington, the Mid-Illini tournament, and the Peoria Sectional.  He was also unbeaten at the Edwardsville Invite.  Stephan lost to no one outside of the Chicago metro area all year and was the only non-Chicago area player to finish in the state’s top 16 at season’s end.  Remarkably, he did not drop more than two games in any set against anyone within 50 miles of Peoria all season.  He was named second team all-state in singles and was the Peoria Journal Star Tennis Player of the Year.  He also earned the Tom Pitchford Sportsmanship Award, an honor bestowed upon the greatest sportsman in the state of Illinois.  Stephan was also one of 26 students in the entire state (all sports combined) named to the IHSA All-State Academic Team.  He was class valedictorian and finished 2nd in the state of Illinois in cross country in the fall.  Needless to say, he will be sorely missed.

*  David Stewart and Nate Wilson won tournament titles at Metamora, the Mid-Illini tournament, and the Peoria Sectional.  They were also both undefeated on the season as singles players and were a combined 62-5 in singles over the last three years.  The duo finished the season in the state’s top 16 doubles teams, earning second team All-State status.

*  Kevin Wang won the #2 singles draw at the Mid-Illini tournament and was unbeaten on the season against area competition other than his teammate.  He finished 2nd in the Peoria Sectional (losing to Rauh in the final) and won a round at the state tournament.  He also finished 2nd at the Metamora Invite and 3rd at the Bloomington Invite.  Kevin piled up 31 singles wins, far eclipsing the old freshman record of 19.

*  Ryan Donnelly and Greg Coffman won the #2 doubles draw at the Mid-Illini tournament.  They finished 2nd at the Metamora Invite and 4th at the Bloomington Invite and Peoria Sectional.

*  Rauh, Stewart, Wilson, Wang, and Donnelly all made the 8-person All-Conference 1st team, while Coffman was named to the 2nd team.  It was the third year in a row that all six Redbird players were named All-Conference.

*  Rauh and Stewart each won their third sectional title, Stewart with his third different doubles partner.  Only three other players in league history share that accomplishment.

* Metamora had more than six good tennis players, as Christoph Goettler (29-4 overall record), Quinn Vaughn (22-8), and David Schrader (8-3) also had impressive seasons, while senior Justin Rauh and juniors Jason Rainville and Jake Martin were unbeaten in limited varsity action.  Most of these young men will be some of Metamora’s leaders for the 2011 campaign.

The senior class of 2010 left a lasting legacy at Metamora High School, one that will be difficult to ever duplicate.  On the court, they were outstanding.  They won four Mid-Illini titles, four Sectional titles, and finished in the state’s top ten.  They continued and expanded upon the tradition of excellence that Metamora tennis teams have established over the past decade.

Even more than that, though, they forged friendships and created memories that will live on for years.  Personally, I know that the times I have shared with this group, beginning when they were little kids, are times that I will never forget and feel privileged to have had.  That these young men arrived with such outstanding families is an enormous added benefit; again, I feel very fortunate to have been part of such a teriffic group of people.

The returnees in 2011 will have some giant shoes to fill.  While it is not fair to expect them to take up right where this year’s team left off, I am confident they will strive to meet the expectations to which the Metamora tennis program has become accustomed.  Hopefully, the never-ending work ethic, comraderie, and good times they witnessed and shared with the class of 2010 will inspire them to continue to work hard in the future so that more amazing memories can be made.  I am confident this will be the case.

I will admit that I didn’t want to write this season recap, because it represents my final official act involving the class of 2010, a once-in-a-lifetime group.  Alas, time marches on.  Four years pass in the blink of an eye.

This coach is very proud of the Metamora Redbird tennis team of 2010.  Congratulations to the Metamora Redbird tennis team on a record-breaking, exceptional 2010 season!!

See also — Stephan Rauh Named to IHSA All-State Academic Team

Top Ten Finish for Redbirds at State Tournament
Arlington Heights (5/30/10) – Metamora capped off its remarkable tennis season in style at the IHSA state tournament, finishing an all-time best 10th place in the state of Illinois.  The single-class tournament generally proves difficult to navigate for some of the state’s smaller schools, as Metamora became only the second public school with fewer than 1000 students to finish in the top ten in the last 35 years.

Stephan Rauh had a terrific tournament, finishing in the top singles players in Illinois.  He was the only non-Chicago area player to finish in the state’s top 16.  Along the way, Stephan defeated Nate Campanile from Grayslake North in the first round; he had entered the tournament with an overall record of 28-2.  In the third round, Rauh beat Rockford Guilford’s sectional champion Danny Park, who finished in the top six in the state the last two seasons as a doubles player.  Rauh lost to the tournament’s number two seed, Ben Hoogland, in the round of 16.

David Stewart and Nate Wilson also had a great run, finishing among the state’s top 16 doubles teams.  Stewart and Wilson recorded a win in the opening round over Alton (who would go on to finish in the top 24).  A third round win over Barrington vaulted the Redbird duo into Friday’s main draw round of 16 against the number two seed in the tournament.  In that match against Hinsdale Central, Metamora led by a set and break in the second set but was unable to finish off the Red Devils.  Stewart and Wilson went on to record a nice win over a team from Oak Park River Forest before losing a tight match to St. Charles North.

Kevin Wang drew a top 16 opponent in the first round from Hinsdale Central but represented himself well in losing 6-2, 6-3.  He was able to win a match in the back draw before losing to the Galesburg Sectional champion 7-5, 6-2 in his third match.

Ryan Donnelly and Greg Coffman lost a tight opening round match to Elmhurst York but rebounded nicely by defeating the Burns brothers of Normal Community.  Donnelly and Coffman almost pulled off an upset in their third match, losing 6-4 in the third set to an excellent team from Belleville West.

Metamora’s state effort was outstanding and its players played with class and pride throughout the weekend.  Congratulations to all on a terrific tournament.  Top Ten in Illinois!!! 

It’s Four Straight Sectional Plaques for Metamora
Peoria (5/23/10) – Metamora’s tennis team had another outstanding weekend at the Peoria Richwoods Sectional, sweeping the singles, doubles, and team titles.  For the Redbirds, it was the fourth consecutive sectional championship and sixth in the last eight years.  After winning the title the last three years in Ottawa, Metamora returned to the Peoria Sectional and was dominant.

Senior Stephan Rauh won his first singles sectional title to go along with the two doubles titles he already owned.  Rauh advanced to the finals without dropping a game, defeating Pekin’s Derek Rineberg in the semi-finals, 6-0, 6-0.  In the finals, Rauh swept past teammate Kevin Wang, 6-0, 6-2.  Wang reached the final with a dramatic 6-3, 7-5 win over the tournament’s number two seed, Notre Dame senior Scott Caughey.

Seniors David Stewart and Nate Wilson captured the doubles title, winning 6-2, 6-1 over Pekin’s duo of Branden Brill and Erik Smith.  Redbird seniors Ryan Donnelly and Greg Coffman finished fourth.  For Stewart, it was his third straight sectional doubles title, won with three different partners.  It was Metamora’s fifth consecutive doubles title at the sectional level.

In the team race, Metamora piled up 34 points.  Pekin was a distant second with 18.  Richwoods (15), Notre Dame (11), and Dunlap (10) rounded out the top five.  All six Redbird players advance to the state tournament by virtue of their finish at the sectional.  Congratulations!

Redbirds Sweep Mid-Illini Tournament; Champs for Fourth Straight Year
East Peoria (5/15/10) – The Metamora’s 2010 varsity tennis team put an exclamation point on its Mid-Illini season Friday, sweeping all four divisions of the conference tournament and running away with its fourth consecutive conference championship.  The Redbirds finished a remarkable conference season with an overall match record of 62-0 against league foes, a mark that will likely never be equalled.  In the conference tournament, Metamora players dropped only 14 games in as dominating of a performance as the league tournament has ever witnessed.

Senior Stephan Rauh won the #1 singles crown for the Redbirds, crushing Pekin’s Derek Rineberg, 6-0, 6-0 in the final.  The Pekin freshman battled as hard as he could but had no answers for Rauh’s punishing ground game and relentless consistency.  The Redbird senior improved to 30-3 in singles on the year.

Freshman Kevin Wang tore through the #2 singles field, winning the title via a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Dunlap senior Neil Brown.  Wang improved his singles record to an impressive 26-8 on the season, the most singles wins ever by an MTHS frosh.

Seniors David Stewart and Nate Wilson defended their 2009 conference doubles title with a 6-1, 6-2 thrashing of Pekin’s Branden Brill and Erick Smith in one of their finest performances of the season.  The Redbird veterans were smothering at the net and unbreakable on serve in cruising to the championship.

Seniors Ryan Donnelly and Greg Coffman also defeated a Pekin duo in the finals, winning 6-0, 7-5 over Neil Mulvey and Blake Butler.  The Redbird team recovered from a 5-2 second set deficit by sweeping the final five games to capture the title.

In the eight seasons since the Mid-Illini adopted the 2 singles, 2 doubles format, Metamora has now won 11 of the 16 doubles championships, including 7 of the last 8.

The Redbirds became the first Mid-Illini team to sweep all four divisions of the tournament since the 2003 Metamora group achieved the same feat.

The ’09 and ’10 Metamora teams also were the first back-to-back unbeaten teams in the league since Dunlap joined the Mid-Illini in 1999.

Finally, Nate Wilson finished his Mid-Illini tournament career unbeaten, winning two titles at #2 doubles and two titles at #1 doubles.  Remarkable results in a league filled with quality players.

Metamora defeated every conference opponent 9-0 and won every match in the conference tournament.  That type of domination may never be seen again.  Congratulations to all!!!

Metamora Comes Close to Bloomington Invite Title
Bloomington (4/11/10) – The Redbird tennis team continued its fine play at the Bloomington Purple & Gold Invite on Saturday, April 10.  The field featured six teams who were sectional champions a year ago, and the quality of play was good in all five draws.

Metamora senior Stephan Rauh successfully defended his 2009 title, although it didn’t come easily.  Rauh played an unusually poor match in the first round but held on to defeat Galesburg’s Brandon Meeker.  He tore through quarterfinal and semi-final matches against Normal Community and Springfield before battling Tinley Park Andrew’s Jacob Tanulanond in the championship.  The final took three hours and ended with Rauh outlasting Tanulanond, 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4.  Tanulanond finished in the state’s top 24 last year, so this victory was a good one for Stephan.  His determination, intelligence on the court, and demeanor throughout his matches continue to make everyone at MTHS incredibly proud.

Freshman Kevin Wang had a good day at #2 singles.  After an easy first round win, he found himself matched up against Centennial’s foreign exchange student, Mauricio Gonzales.  Wang played flawlessly, dismissing Gonzales, 6-1, 6-1.  In the semis, Wang ran out of steam against Edwardsville’s Cam Randall, but he rebounded nicely in the third place match, defeating Springfield’s Charlie Hoogland, 6-0, 6-3.

In doubles, Metamora advances all three of its teams to the semi-finals easily.  In the semis, though, Metamora found itself on the wrong end of three third set super tie-breakers.  The Redbirds lost all three breakers to the eventual champions of the flights.

Metamora’s #1 doubles duo of David Stewart and Nate Wilson lost 6-7(4), 6-3, 10-5 to the Springfield team of Gaffigan and Piland.  In the third place match, Stewart and Wilson suffered another unfortunate third set tie-break loss to Edwardsville’s Leskera and Leskera, 6-4, 3-6, 10-6.

The #2 doubles team of Ryan Donnelly and Greg Coffman played an outstanding first set in the semi-finals, defeating Grant Robinson and Ben Trapp of Springfield, 6-3.  However, the Springfield team regrouped to win the second set and captured the third set tie-break, 10-7.  Donnelly and Coffman lost another close match for 3rd place to St. Charles North.

At #3 doubles, Quinn Vaughn and Christoph Goettler extended Edwardsville to a third set tie-break but were also unable to win it.  In the third place match, the Redbird duo easily defeated St. Charles North.

With all of the third set tie-break losses, Metamora narrowly missed the tournament championship.  Edwardsville and Springfield shared the title with 35 points while Metamora amassed 31.  St. Charles North and Tinley Park Andrew were 4th and 5th with 25 and 19 points, respectively.

See complete Metamora results here.

Redbirds Enjoy Success at Edwardsville Dual Invite
Edwardsville (4/4/10) – Metamora made a trip to Edwardsville for the first time ever to compete in the 32-team Edwardsville Dual Team Invitational.  The Invite featured teams playing each other in mini-duals of 2 singles and 3 doubles.

The first two rounds of the tournament took place at a junior high in Edwardsville.  The wind was whipping around 30 miles per hour, and the conditions were very difficult.  In the first round, Metamora played the Terriers of Carbondale High School.  Carbondale came within an eyelash of winning their own sectional in 2009, but they graduated the bulk of their team.  The Redbirds breezed through the first round, winning 5-0 while only dropping 3 games.  The second round brought the Edwardsville – Orange squad.  Metamora played just well enough to advance, taking the dual 3-2.  Stephan Rauh, David Stewart, Christoph Goettler, Quinn Vaughn, and David Schrader were 2-0 on the day for the Redbirds.

Day two featured a late start due to overnight rains.  This prompted the tournament organizers to eliminate one of the three rounds scheduled for Saturday.  Therefore, Metamora began the day in the semi-finals of their half of the tournament instead of the quarterfinals (the tournament was split into two halves, each treated as a separate event).

In the semis, Metamora battled perennial power Naperville Central.  In a friendly yet spirited match, the Redbirds prevailed 3-2 on the strength of two singles wins by Stephan Rauh and Kevin Wang and a #2 doubles triumph by David Stewart and Christoph Goettler.  The Redbird doubles teams were altered throughout the tournament due to Metamora being without senior Nate Wilson.  However, the Redbird players who were in attendance picked up the slack and represented MTHS quite nicely.

The championship match pitted Metamora against the Edwardsville Tigers.  EHS has fantastic players every year, and 2010 is certainly no exception.  Metamora was able to record wins at #1 singles (Rauh) and #2 doubles (Stewart and Goettler) and had a set point at #3 doubles before losing.  However, the match of the tournament occurred at #2 singles.  Metamora freshman Kevin Wang battled for over two hours with Edwardsville’s Cam Randall.  Wang lost the first set quickly 6-0 but regrouped to take the second set 7-5.

In the third and decisive set, the number of fans grew, as the 3rd place matches had finished and all of the other players, fans, and coaches came to watch the exciting finish.  Wang played brilliantly in jumping to a 5-3 third set lead, but Randall played equally as well in winning the last four games to capture the third set, 7-5.  It was one of the most exciting, good-for-tennis 45-minute periods this coach has witnessed in many years.

The Redbird tennis team can be very proud of battling two exceptional teams in the semis and finals without one of its best players.  The facility at Edwardsville High School is perhaps the finest high school tennis facility in Illinois, and the exciting conclusion to the tournament allowed memories to be made that will be cherished for years.

The other half of the tournament saw Downers Grove South defeat Belleville West, 4-1, in the championship match.  Springfield and Naperville Central were the two 3rd place winners, with Naperville Central beating Rockford Guilford and Springfield downing Lafayette of Missouri.

See complete Metamora results here.

Metamora, Barrington Dominate Red & White Invite  
Metamora (3/28/10) – The 2010 Red & White Invitational was held on a reasonably pleasant day outside for the first time in six years.  New entrant Barrington played impressive tennis throughout the day, eclipsing Metamora by a single point in the team standings.  The Redbirds advanced all 5 entries to the championship round but dropped the final match of the day in three sets to miss out on the title.

Metamora senior Stephan Rauh successfully defended his title from a year ago, playing brilliant tennis all day.  After an easy opening win, he fought off the powerful game of Barrington’s George Collin the semis, 6-2, 6-1.  In the finals, he battled through a long three-set match with Guilford’s Danny Park.  Park, with two top six state finishes in doubles to his credit, won the first set but was unable to do any more.  Rauh eventually prevailed, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Freshman Kevin Wang had another good day for the Redbirds.  He breezed through quarterfinal and semi-final matches with opponents from Rockford Guilford and Chatham-Glenwood, respectively, before taking on Barrington’s Varun Parekh in the finals.  Wang looked to be in control, winning the first set 6-1.  However, Parekh battled hard through the next two sets, winning by the slimmest of margins, 7-5, 6-4.

Seniors David Stewart and Nate Wilson survived a stiff challenge in the semis from a good Teutopolis doubles duo, winning 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.  In the finals, Metamora was too much for Barrington’s #1 doubles team of Jim Deroche and Joe Gasior, winning the title 6-2, 6-4.

At #2 doubles, Metamora seniors Ryan Donnelly and Greg Coffman reached the finals with two straight set victories.  However, the Redbird duo found the sledding much more difficult in the title match against a very good #2 Barrington doubles team.  Barrington won, 6-2, 6-1.

Metamora’s #3 doubles duo of freshman Christoph Goettler and sophomore Quinn Vaughn also reached the finals with a nice win over Rockford Guilford.  The championship match was perhaps tighter than the score indicated, but Barrington emerged victorious, 6-2, 6-3.

The final team standings showed:  Barrington (25), Metamora (24), Rockford Guilford (12), Teutopolis (11), Notre Dame (7), Chatham-Glenwood (5), Ottawa (4), and Champaign Centennial (2).

See complete Metamora results here.

Metamora Wins Indoor Quad  

Peoria (3/21/10) – For the first time in the 8-year history of the event, the Metamora Redbird tennis team was the champion of the indoor quad held at The Clubs at River City on March 20.  Metamora hosted perennial powers Moline, Danville, and Springfield for the season-opening event, and the caliber of tennis played was sensational.
Metamora’s senior-dominated line-up rolled through the opening match with Moline, winning #1 and # 2 singles and #1 and #2 doubles in straight sets.  The only slip-up occurred at #3 doubles, where Metamora let four match points slip away in a third set super tie-breaker defeat.

The second clash of the day was with an improved Danville squad.  The Redbirds recorded wins from two freshmen in singles (Kevin Wang and Christoph Goettler) and swept the doubles to complete the 5-0 win.

The final match of the day featured the most drama and the best tennis.  Springfield, the defending Class A IHSTCA state champion and returner of 7 of its top 8 players from a year ago, challenged the Redbird tennis team severely.  Four of the five matches went three sets, and the quality for the first day of the season was tremendous.  Stephan Rauh and Kevin Wang recorded singles wins for the Redbirds, while seniors David Stewart and Nate Wilson defeated an outstanding doubles team at #1 to clinch the match for Metamora.

The annual quad typically features good sportsmanship and friendly tennis among the four competing schools.  This year was certainly no exception.  Good luck to the participating teams throughout the rest of the 2010 season!

See complete Metamora results here.

2010 Mid-Illini Boys Tennis Preview
Metamora (2/1/10) – The 2010 Mid-Illini Conference boys tennis race will likely be another competitive one.  Three-time defending champion Metamora returns its top four players from a year ago and will be very strong in 2010.  Pekin will attempt to do something no other Mid-Illini school has accomplished in 16 years – defeat Metamora, Morton, or Dunlap.  The Dragons return a substantial portion of their quality team from a year ago and will be a force to be dealt with in 2010.  Perennial powers Morton and Dunlap should always be considered to be in the mix, with Dunlap returning slightly more firepower than Morton.
Four-time league singles champion Brock Reiman of Morton has graduated, leaving a large void at the top of the Potters’ line-up.  However, the Mid-Illini boasts 10 players that will take the courts in 2010 that have played in the state tournament.  Metamora leads the way with 5 (Stephan Rauh, David Stewart, Nate Wilson, Ryan Donnelly, and Greg Coffman), while Pekin has 3 (Branden Brill, Bryten Brill, Neil Mulvey), and Dunlap (Nick Skender) and Morton (Tate Hohulin) have 1 each.
Last year, the Mid-Illini experienced unprecedented success at the sectional level, with Metamora, Morton, and Dunlap all capturing sectional championships.  It was certainly the first time the Mid-Illini has ever captured three sectional crowns in the same year, and it truly showed how dominant the league has become in boys tennis.
It has now been 16 years since Metamora, Morton, or Dunlap has lost to another Mid-Illini team.  Pekin will try to end the big three’s conference record of 225-0 against the rest of the league over the past fifteen seasons. East Peoria, Washington, and Limestone may be looking at an uphill battle against the other four schools in ’10.
(Metamora has been unranked)  
Predicted M-I Finish
Last Year’s Result
Last Eight Years
Metamora  (Kelly Willard – 13th year)
15-2 (1st)
1.  Pekin  (Matt Rineberg – 1st)
5-4 (4th)
2.  Dunlap  (Jon Allison – 2nd)
14-7 (3rd)
3.  Morton  (Joal Stanfield – 6th)
10-7 (2nd)
4.  East Peoria  (Shane Smith – 9th)
7-5 (5th)
5.  Limestone  (Bill Wallinger – 2nd)
2-11 (7th)
6.  Washington  (Dave Krostal – 10th)
1-9 (6th)
Long Gone
  • Brock Reiman – four-time all-conference, four-time state qualifier, four-time all-state (2nd team once, 3rd team three times), four-time Mid-Illini singles champion (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), three-time sectional champion (doubles – 2006, singles – 2007, 2009), sectional runner-up (singles – 2008), Peoria Journal Star Co-Player of the Year (2006), Peoria Journal Star Player of the Year (2009).
  • Phil Reinken – all-conference (2009), two-time state qualifier, sectional doubles champion (2009), sectional doubles runner-up (2008), Mid-Illini Conference doubles runner-up (2009).
  • Josh Bailey, Nathan Imig. 
Returning for More:
  • Tate Hohulin – state qualifier, sectional doubles champion (2009), Mid-Illini Conference doubles runner-up (2009).
  • P.J. Madison, Brad Simmons.
Important Newcomers: 

Calen Crim.

Potter Outlook:

The 2010 Morton Potter tennis team will try to bridge the GBR (gap between Reimans), as four-time Mid-Illini singles champion Brock Reiman has moved on to Bradley University while superstar twins Grant and Trent Reiman are 8th grade students.  Morton has won or shared six consecutive Bloomington Sectional titles but will find the sledding much more difficult in ’10.  The Potters have the potential to return several role players from last year’s squad, but finding leaders for the top of the line-up may be a daunting challenge.
Interesting Facts:
  • Morton has not finished lower than 2nd in the Mid-Illini Conference since 1994.
  • Last season, Brock Reiman joined Metamora’s Tyler Lampe and Dunlap’s Jared Kunkle as the only players in Mid-Illini history to win three sectional championships.
  • A Morton singles player has captured the last 6 Mid-Illini singles titles (Brock Reiman won 4 and Jordan Nestrud won 2).  The last non-Potter to win the singles crown was Metamora’s Ty Wyffels in 2003.
Long Gone
  • Alex Clark – all-conference, three-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini singles runner-up (2007), Mid-Illini doubles champion (2008), Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (2009), Mid-Illini singles champion (#2 – 2006), two-time sectional doubles champion (2008, 2009).
  • Spencer Graves – all-conference, two-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini singles champion (#2 – 2009), sectional runner-up (doubles – 2008, 2009).
  • Dan Sahm – state qualifier, sectional runner-up (doubles – 2009).
  • Dan Wang.
Returning for More:
  • Nick Skender – two-time state qualifier, sectional champion (doubles – 2009), sectional runner-up (doubles – 2008).
  • Neil Brown.
Eagle Outlook:
The 2010 Dunlap tennis team will have many new faces, as the Eagles said good-bye to a very good senior class.  The cupboard is far from bare, however, as Dunlap’s underclass talent continues to be very good.  The Dunlap frosh-soph team easily won the Mid-Illini title last year.  At the varsity level, Dunlap captured last year’s Peoria Sectional title, its first sectional championship in 7 years.  The Eagles again finished 3rd in the Mid-Illini, though, marking the 5th time in the last 7 years Dunlap has occupied that position.  Dunlap has not won the Mid-Illini title since 2002.
Interesting Facts
  • Dunlap is 7-2 against Morton in the last 6 seasons.  However, the Eagles have finished behind Morton in the final conference standings in EVERY one of those 6 seasons.
  • Dunlap is 3-8 against Metamora in the last 7 seasons, winning once in 2005 and twice in 2006.
  • Dunlap’s two doubles teams played each other in the Peoria Sectional final last year, marking the fifth time this decade that has occurred (2001, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2009).
Long Gone:  
  • Dakota Lanier, Doug Wright.
Returning for More:
  • Max Jones, Mitch Brown, Sebastian Whiting, Tyler Briggs.
Panther Outlook:
Washington suffered through a winless season in the league last year but rebounded to finish 6th at the conference tournament to place ahead of Limestone in the final conference standings.  The Panthers will likely have difficulty competing with the league’s top four teams but will have opportunities against the bottom of the conference.
Interesting Facts:
  • Washington has not defeated Morton, Metamora, or Dunlap since 1994, compiling a dual record of 0-74 against those three schools during that time period.
  • Washington’s has had only one state qualifier since foreign exchange student Mario Panzic in 2001 – Joe Lehman qualified in 2007.
  • No information available on returning players.
Raider Outlook:
East Peoria graduated the bulk of last year’s 5th place Mid-Illini team.  The Raiders will look to senior Dylan Lucas to lead the way in 2010.
Interesting Facts:
  • East Peoria has not defeated Morton, Metamora, or Dunlap since 1994, sporting a cumulative record of 0-73 in dual matches against those three schools during that time period.
  • East Peoria’s only state qualifiers in the last 15 years came in 2007, when the doubles duo of Ben Morrow and Dewey Kim finished in the state’s top 48.
Long Gone:  
·        Jeremy Milam – all-conference, state qualifier.

Returning for More:
  • Branden Brill – state qualifier.
  • Bryten Brill – state qualifier.
  • Neil Mulvey – state qualifier.
  • Erick Smith, Blake Butler, Josh McLanahan.
Important Newcomers:

Derek Rineberg.

Dragon Outlook:

Pekin enters the 2010 season poised to become the first Mid-Illini team in 16 years to post a win against the league’s top three (Metamora, Morton, Dunlap).  The Dragons qualified four players for the state tournament a year ago, and three of those were non-seniors.  Joining the mix this year will be freshman Derek Rineberg, brother of former player of the year and current head coach Matt Rineberg.  If Metamora is shipped off to the Ottawa Sectional again, Pekin will be favored to capture its first Peoria Sectional title since 1993.
Interesting Facts:
  • Pekin came within an eyelash of defeating Morton last year, dropping a 5-4 heart-breaker.  With the graduation of Morton’s top players, the Dragons should have a great chance of beating their Tazewell County rivals in 2010.
  • Last year, Jeremy Milam became Pekin’s first all-conference performer since the Dragons joined the Mid-Illini Conference.
No information available on returning players.
Rocket Outlook:
Limestone won its first Mid-Illini dual match in five years last year, defeating Washington.  However, a last place finish at the conference tournament put Limestone in last place overall.  Bill Wallinger’s second team will look to junior Jordan Adams to lead the way in 2010.  Limestone, Washington, and East Peoria should all compete for 5th place.
Interesting Facts:
  • Limestone has never defeated Morton, Metamora, or Dunlap.
Long Gone
  • Jared Rauh – state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles champion (#2 – 2009), sectional runner-up (2009).
  • Alex Corwin – Mid-Illini doubles champion (#2 – 2009).
Returning for More:
  • Stephan Rauh – three-time all-conference, three-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles champion (2007), two-time Mid-Illini singles runner-up (2008, 2009), two-time sectional champion (doubles – 2007, 2009), sectional runner-up (singles – 2008), 2nd team all-state (2009).
  • David Stewart – two-time all-conference, three-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles champion (2009), Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (2008), Mid-Illini doubles champion (#2 – 2007), two-time sectional champion (doubles – 2008, 2009), 2nd team all-state (2009).
  • Nate Wilson – all-conference, two-time state qualifier, three-time Mid-Illini doubles champion (#1 – 2009, #2 – 2007, 2008), sectional runner-up (doubles – 2008).
  • Ryan Donnelly – all-conference, two-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini singles champion (#2 – 2008), Mid-Illini singles runner-up (#2 – 2009).
  • Greg Coffman – state qualifier, sectional runner-up (doubles – 2009).
  • Quinn Vaughn, Justin Rauh.
Important Newcomers: 

Kevin Wang, Christoph Goettler.

Redbird Outlook: 

Metamora has won the last three Mid-Illini Conference championships and has also captured three consecutive sectional titles.  The 2010 edition of Redbird tennis finally sports an older look, as Metamora boasts five seniors that have played in the state tournament a combined 11 times.  This year’s players will undoubtedly have lofty individual and team goals, some of which would have been unthinkable a decade ago.  It should be another fun year to follow the Redbirds around area tennis courts.
Interesting Facts:
  • Only Metamora (2007-2009) and Morton (2004-2006) have won three straight Mid-Illini titles since Dunlap joined the league in 1999.
  • Metamora had entries in the finals of all four draws at last year’s conference tournament.  That was the second straight year Redbird players were in all four finals.
  • Since the Mid-Illini changed to flighted singles and doubles draws at the league tournament in 2003, Metamora has captured 9 of the possible 14 doubles titles, including both last year.
  • Metamora has now defeated Dunlap 10 times since 2001.  When the Eagles joined the league in 1999, this didn’t seem possible.