2013 Articles

2013 Season Recap 

Metamora (06/13) – Metamora’s 2013 tennis team began the spring with almost impossible expectations — the Redbirds had won the last six Mid-Illini Conference and IHSA Sectional championships and were expected to continue to amass titles despite the excellence of two other local tennis squads.  Morton sported a fantastic team in the Mid-Illini Conference, and Richwoods, a sectional foe, had one of its finest tennis teams in the last quarter century.  The Redbirds played at a very high level throughout the year, finishing in the state’s top 15 for the fourth straight season.  Although Metamora was unable to continue its team conference and sectional winning streaks, the 2013 campaign will forever be remembered as another excellent one for Redbird tennis players. Here are a few of the 2013 squad’s highlights:

* Metamora invited state powers New Trier, Edwardsville, Moline, and Springfield to participate in its indoor event to open the season.  The Redbirds recorded some remarkable wins during the day, including triumphs at #1 doubles over Edwardsville and New Trier and #1 singles over Edwardsville.  The caliber of play for the first day of the season was spectacular and set the tone for later in the season.

* The Redbirds won the Red & White Invite, defeating such powerful teams as Barrington and Rockford Guilford.  Junior Will Koehrsen won the #1 singles title, and senior Christoph Goettler teamed with junior Mitchell Nguyen to capture the #1 doubles crown.  Freshman Ryan Willard finished 3rd at #2 singles, while senior Caleb Neumann and junior Nick Becker were 2nd at #2 doubles.

* Will Koehrsen won his third consecutive Mid-Illini championship at #1 singles, rolling through the league for the third straight year without dropping so much as a set.  Junior Mitchell Nguyen was the conference champ at #2 singles, his third straight Mid-Illini title (#1 doubles as a frosh and #2 singles the last two years). Metamora finished 2nd at #1 doubles (Goettler / Neumann) and #2 doubles (Willard / Becker). It was the sixth straight year that all four Redbird entries played in the conference championship matches.

* Metamora did not win a sectional team title for the first time since 2006, but the Redbirds continued some individual streaks.  Third-seeded Nguyen won the singles title, outlasting former Redbird Kevin Wang of Richwoods in a three-hour semi-final before winning the title match by injury default over East Peoria’s Calen Crim.  It was Metamora’s fourth straight sectional singles title.  Second-seeded Koehrsen and Goettler won the doubles crown, blasting their way through the field with ease en route to Metamora’s eighth straight sectional doubles title.

* Metamora finished one point out of 1st place at the 16-team Bloomington Invite.  Koehrsen won the singles crown for the third straight year, while Goettler and Nguyen won Metamora’s first ever #1 doubles title.  Willard was 3rd at #2 singles for Metamora. 

* Metamora ended the season with a 14th place finish at the single-class state tournament. The Redbirds  were the only school outside of metropolitan Chicago or St. Louis to finish in the state’s top 15, as Metamora continues to establish itself as the top program in the middle part of Illinois.  It was Metamora’s fourth straight top 15 finish, a feat only New Trier, Deerfield, Neuqua Valley, Oak Park River Forest, Deerfield, and Hinsdale Central can match.

* The Redbirds finished 15-5 in dual matches against some of the state’s best teams. Metamora lost a traditional 6 singles, 3 doubles match for only the second time in the last 5 years, dropping a 6-3 decision to Morton. The other four losses were to quality opponents from Downers Grove South (3-2), Rockford Boylan (3-2), Louisville St. Xavier (5-0), and Normal U-High (3-2).  Morton, DGS, Boylan, and Louisville St. Xavier were all sectional champions (St. X was the Kentucky state champion) later in the season.

 Metamora recorded full or partial dual match wins over SEVEN sectional championship teams:  Carbondale (5-0), Belleville East (3-2), Richwoods (5-4), Chatham-Glenwood (6-0), Champaign Central (3-1), Moline (3-1)and DeKalb (5-0).  Metamora’s brutal schedule continues to challenge the members of the team and prepare the Redbird players quite well for the post-season.

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

* Will Koehrsen won singles tournament titles at Bloomington, the Red & White Invite, and the Mid-Illini tournament.  His singles career record is already 108-14, and the school record of 111 singles wins looks like it will come crashing down next year.  He won the IHSA Dunlap Sectional doubles title with Christoph Goettler.  Will finished sixth in the state in doubles with Goettler, earning first team all-state status, the first such honor in Redbird school history.  For the third year in a row, he was also named the Peoria Journal Star Tennis Player of the Year. 

* Christoph Goettler won doubles titles at the Red & White Invite, the Bloomington Invite, and the Peoria Sectional.  His singles record was 9-0, pushing his final all-time singles mark to an astonishing 44-0.  In those 44 matches, Christoph never dropped a set.  He finished sixth in the state in doubles with Koehrsen, earning first team all-state status.  His final doubles record of 128-33 allowed him to overtake David Stewart as the program’s all-time winningest doubles player.

* Mitchell Nguyen won the #2 singles title at the Mid-Illini tournament and won doubles titles at the Red & White Invite and the Bloomington Invite.  He then won the IHSA Dunlap Sectional singles title, before finishing in the 49th-64th place group at the state meet.

* Ryan Willard had a very impressive freshman campaign for Metamora, compiling a singles mark of 24-10 and a doubles record of 9-6.  He will undoubtedly make big strides before his sophomore year.

* Caleb Neumann and Nick Becker had good seasons for the Redbirds as well.  Neumann was 8-1 in singles and 25-15 in doubles, with his biggest wins in both coming in the team’s 5-4 win over Richwoods.  Becker suffered an injury during the year but was still able to compile a singles mark of 5-3 and a doubles record of 18-15 in his first varsity campaign.  He will be a major contributor to the 2014 Metamora tennis team.

*Trevor Lewandowski, Michael Doubles, Brendan Axelson, and Justin McCoy combined for a singles record of 5-3 and a doubles mark of 24-16, contributing to the Redbird tennis team when called on and providing good depth throughout the year.

* Koehrsen, Nguyen, and Goettler made the 8-person All-Conference 1st team.

The 2013 Metamora tennis team continued to grow the reputation Redbird tennis teams have established throughout the state. I continue to be extremely proud that Metamora tennis players are known all over Illinois as being fierce competitors but also as being fair, well-behaved young men. 

The dedication and work ethic established at Metamora High School over the past decade continued right into 2013. The young men who participated on this year’s team can be rightly proud of their accomplishments. I firmly believe the returning players on the 2014 team will continue to exhibit these qualities so as to help continue Metamora’s successful tennis seasons. 

Congratulations to the Metamora Redbird tennis team on another fantastic season!!

Redbirds Make Summer Trip to Champaign

Champaign (07/13/13) – For the second consecutive year, Metamora played a team summer event at the Atkins Center on the campus of the University of Illinois.  Metamora took a 10-person team to Champaign to battle Quincy, Warren, and the Atkins area team.  The competition was friendly, and everyone had a great time playing multiple matches and spending the night in Champaign.  Below are the results from the weekend.

vs Quincy (Redbirds won 9 of 9 matches)

1  Win (W. Koehrsen)  6-1, 6-1
2  Win (M. Nguyen)  6-1, 6-2
3  Win (K. Patel-O’Connor)  6-1, 6-0
4  Win (Z. Settelmyer)  6-0, 6-0
5  Win (R. Willard)  6-0, 6-0
6  Win (F. Koehrsen)  6-0, 6-0

1  Win (W. Koehrsen / F. Koehrsen)  6-1, 6-4
2  Win (K. Patel-O’Connor / Z. Settelmyer)  6-2, 6-1
3  Win (T. Lewandowski / C. Maris)  6-1, 6-2

vs Warren (Redbirds won 9 of 15 matches)

1  Win (W. Koehrsen)  6-1, 6-1
2  Win (M. Nguyen)  6-0, 6-0
3  Win (K. Patel-O’Connor)  6-0, 6-2
4  Win (Z. Settelmyer)  6-1, 6-0
5  Win (R. Willard)  6-4, 7-5
6  Loss (F. Koehrsen)  6-3, 6-3
7  Loss (T. Lewandowski)  6-2, 2-6, 10-8
8  Loss (M. Doublin)  6-1, 7-6
9  Win (C. Maris)  6-4, 6-3
10 Loss (J. Rivera)  6-2, 6-3

1  Win (W. Koehrsen / F. Koehrsen)  6-2, 6-2
2  Win (K. Patel-O’Connor / Z. Settelmyer)  6-0, 4-6, 10-8
3  Win (R. Willard / M. Nguyen)  4-6, 6-1, 10-6
4  Loss (T. Lewandowski / C. Maris)  6-4, 7-6
5  Loss (J. Rivera / M. Doublin)  6-1, 6-0

vs Atkins area (Redbirds won 13 of 15 matches)

1  Win (W. Koehrsen)  6-3, 6-3
2  Loss (M. Nguyen)  4-6, 6-1, 12-10
3  Win (K. Patel-O’Connor)  6-4, 6-3
4  Win (Z. Settelmyer)  6-4, 6-0
5  Loss (R. Willard)  0-6, 6-4, 10-7
6  Win (F. Koehrsen)  7-5, 4-6, 10-5
7  Win (T. Lewandowski)  7-6, 6-2
8  Win (C. Maris)  6-2, 6-3
9  Win (M. Doublin)  6-2, 6-3
10 Win (J. Rivera)  6-0, 6-2

1  Win (W. Koehrsen / K. Patel-O’Connor)  6-3, 7-5
2  Win (Z. Settelmyer / M. Nguyen)  6-4, 7-5
3  Win (F. Koehrsen / C. Maris)  6-4, 4-6, 14-12
4  Win (R. Willard / T. Lewandowski)  6-1, 6-1
5  Win (J. Rivera / M. Doublin)  6-0, 6-0

State Tournament a Huge Success

Arlington Heights (05/24/13) – The 2013 high school tennis season came to a close at the state tournament, held in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago.  Metamora had another terrific team performance, finishing 14th in the single-class tournament.  It was Metamora’s fourth consecutive year in the top 15 in the state, an achievement only six other teams in Illinois share (Hinsdale Central, Stevenson, New Trier, Deerfield, Neuqua Valley, and Oak Park River Forest).  The Redbirds were the highest finishers again from the Peoria area.

Individually, the tournament was a huge success.  Christoph Goettler and Will Koehrsen were awarded the highest seed in the history of MTHS, a 5-8 spot.  They ultimately finished 6th in the tournament, becoming the first medalists in the history of the Mid-Illini Conference.  Along the way, their only two defeats were against the top two seeds in the tournament, with both matches ending in a tie-break loss.

The Redbird duo swept through the first day, an awful weather day, with three straight set wins over teams from Lincoln-Way East, Rockford Boylan, and Naperville Central.  The round of 16 match against Downers Grove South resulted in a 6-2, 6-0 win in 44 minutes, propeling Metamora to its first ever quarterfinal match at the state meet.

In the quarterfinals, Metamora played the tournament’s top seed and the defending state champs from Hinsdale Central.  After a long, close two sets, the returning champs prevailed over the Redbird pair, 6-4, 7-6(5).  This defeat sent the Redbirds into the back draw on Saturday, the final day of the tournament.

Goettler and Koehrsen won two matches in the back draw, both in three sets, over outstanding teams from Lake Forest and Lincolnshire Stevenson, to reach the back draw final (the 5th place match in the tournament).  Since 124 teams play in the back draw, the 5th place match really represents the championship match of those 124 teams.  In the finals, Metamora played the tournament’s #2 seed, Lake Forest.  Again, Metamora played superbly, but Lake Forest’s duo was a little too good, winning 6-1, 7-6(9).

The top six finishers are awarded state medals, and Metamora’s medalists were the first ever from the Mid-Illini Conference.  Goettler and Koehrsen were also the first doubles medalists from a public school of 1,000 or fewer students in 51 years, a truly remarkable accomplishment.

Mitchell Nguyen was Metamora’s singles qualifier, and he had a very nice tournament.  Nguyen picked up one main draw win and one back draw win to finish in the 49th-64th place group for the second straight year.  His three team points, combined with the ten points from the doubles team, allowed Metamora to finish 14th as a team with only two entrants in the tournament.

Congratulations to the Redbird tennis team on another great state tournament run!

Six-Year Sectional Streak Ends – Redbirds 2nd

Dunlap (05/18/13) – All good things must eventually come to an end, and, for the Metamora Redbird tennis team, the six-year streak of sectional championships ended at the IHSA Dunlap Sectional Saturday.  Metamora played an outstanding tournament but came up three points short of a seventh consecutive crown.

Mitchell Nguyen played a terrific sectional in singles, playing his #3 seed into a singles championship.  The match of the tournament occurred in the semi-finals, when Nguyen played top-seed and former Redbird Kevin Wang.  Nguyen dropped the first set and was down match point in the second set tie-break before rallying to win, 2-6, 7-6, 6-2.  The marathon match took just over three hours to complete and was a well-earned triumph for the Redbird junior.  In the finals, Nguyen won by default over an injured Calen Crim of East Peoria.  It was Metamora’s fourth straight singles sectional championship.

Ryan Willard also played singles for the Redbirds.  After an easy opening win, the fifth-seeded Willard battled Richwoods’ fourth-seeded Alex Cheng in the state qualifying round.  In a match that was significantly closer than the final score, the Redbird freshman was unable to solve Cheng, ultimately losing, 6-2, 6-1.

Christoph Goettler and Will Koehrsen dominated the sectional in doubles, dropping six games in eight sets.  The Metamora pair blasted third-seeded Kiran Patel-O’Connor and Zach Settelmyer of Richwoods in the semi-finals, 6-1, 6-2.  They followed up this impressive performance with an annihilation of top-seeded Chandler Clayton and Nick Khazzam of Richwoods in the finals, 6-2, 6-1.  The doubles title was Metamora’s eighth straight sectional doubles crown.

Nick Becker and Caleb Neumann also played doubles for Metamora.  They had the unfortunate luck of drawing Washington’s fourth-seeded Bryan Kinas and Brett Grimes in the first round.  Neumann and Becker played valiantly, but fell 6-3, 6-4.

Based on the seeds, Richwoods was supposed to accumulate 33 points to Metamora’s 19.  The final results were Richwoods 27, Metamora 24.  The other eight teams in the sectional field were far behind.  Redbird players and coaches can be very proud of their six-year sectional championship streak and will look to begin another one in 2014!

Redbirds Tie for M-I Tournament Title

Dunlap (05/10/13) – Metamora’s 2013 tennis team finished Mid-Illini competition with a tie for 1st place at the Mid-Illini Conference Tournament.  The Redbirds and Morton each scored 24 points on the day, with Metamora capturing the two singles flights and Morton the two doubles flights.  Morton won the overall conference title by virtue of its dual match win over the Redbirds earlier in the year.  This ended Metamora’s six-year run as Mid-Illini champs.

At #1 singles, the story was the same as the previous two years, with Redbird junior Will Koehrsen racing to the crown.  After dispatching two-time sectional champion Derek Rineberg of Pekin in the semi-finals, Koehrsen absolutely crushed Morton’s Trent Reiman, 6-1, 6-0, in the finals to win his third consecutive Mid-Illini singles crown.  Amazingly, Koehrsen has still never lost a match in Mid-Illini competition in singles or doubles.

Mitchell Nguyen played #2 singles for the Redbirds and also cruised to the championship.  For Nguyen, this was his third conference crown, as he captured #1 doubles as a freshman and #2 singles as a sophomore.  In the championship match, he dismissed Morton’s Taylor Nave, a four-time state qualifier, 6-3, 6-1.  

Having captured the two singles flights, Metamora found itself in position to win the conference outright if it could win either one of the two doubles titles.  The Redbirds won the first set in the #2 doubles final and split sets in the #1 doubles final, meaning Metamora only had to win one of the remaining three sets to win the league.  However, the Redbirds were unable to accomplish this goal, as Morton played inspired tennis late in the evening to tie Metamora for the tournament crown.

At #1 doubles, Caleb Neumann and Christoph Goettler got into a third set with Morton’s talented duo of Grant Reiman and Jonah Laktas.  However, the Potters were too good in the third set and ultimately won, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.  At #2 doubles, Ryan Willard and Nick Becker played a very tight match with Morton’s Chandler Stimpert and Andrew Payne.  However, the Potter team played the big points better in the third set, finally winning, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Metamora’s six-year streak as Mid-Illini champs came to and end, but it certainly didn’t happen without a fight.  Morton had a terrific tennis team in 2013, and Metamora did too.  The conference tournament was a heavyweight battle, and both teams knew they were significantly challenged.  Metamora’s players will begin the 2014 campaign aiming to begin a new conference streak.  

The 2013 conference tournament marked the sixth straight year that all four of Metamora’s tournament entries played in the championship matches.  This sustained excellence is a testament to the work Redbird players have put in over the years and is a mark that will likely never be equalled.

Congratulations to Morton and Metamora on successful Mid-Illini seasons.

Redbirds Perform Well at Mini-State

Arlington Heights (04/28/13) – Metamora’s tennis team made its 11th consecutive appearance in the Tom Pitchford Invitational (mini-state), an event featuring 32 of the finest tennis squads in Illinois.  The Redbirds represented themselves quite well, finishing 14th in the two-day tournament.

Will Koehrsen placed in the top eight at #1 singles, winning his opening two matches in straight sets.  He suffered losses to the top seed, Jeremy Bush of Lincolnshire Stevenson, and Deerfield’s Toby Ma, and finished with a default win over Lyons Township’s Jake Elliott.

Ryan Willard played #2 singles for Metamora.  He opened with a defeat against Lake Forest and followed that with a long three-set loss to Moline.  Willard rebounded to claim a win over Buffalo Grove before losing to Oak Park River Forest in his last match.

Christoph Goettler and Mitchell Nguyen won three of five matches during the weekend, opening with an easy win over Buffalo Grove.  In the second round, the duo was upset by Naperville Central.  Goettler and Nguyen fought back for two wins over Belleville East and Deerfield before falling to Oak Park River Forest in their final match of the weekend.

Caleb Neumann and Nick Becker won two of five matches over the two-day period.  The Redbird pair opened with a nice win over Belleville West before losing in the second round to Lake Forest.  Metamora’s third match was a loss to Neuqua Valley.  The next day, Neumann and Becker fought to a win over Prospect before losing a long three-set tilt against Napeville North to finish the weekend.

Overall, finishing in the top half of the field at the Tom Pitchford Invite is a huge accomplishment.  The Redbird tennis team can be very proud of its performance in this high-level event!


One Point Short of a Three-Peat at Bloomington Invite

Bloomington (04/07/13) – The Redbird tennis team spent the first Saturday in April at the incredibly windy Bloomington Invite.  Metamora entered the event as the two-time defending champion of the 16-team tournament and finished the day a single point short of a three-peat.

Will Koehrsen had another successful tournament, capturing his third straight championship at #1 singles in Bloomington.  After two quick matches, he found himself in a tough battle with Normal U-High’s Sam Totten in the semi-finals.  Will battled through the wind and his determined opponent to capture a third set tie-break to advance to the finals.  In the championship, he was nearly flawless in a 6-2, 6-4 win over Ancona from Rockford Christian.  Combined with Stephan Rauh’s triumph at Bloomington in 2010, it marked the fourth straight championship for Metamora at #1 singles.

Ryan Willard had a very good day for the Redbirds at #2 singles.  After a routine opening match victory, he found himself against the tounament’s #3 seed from Lockport.  Ryan played a great match, winning 6-0, 6-1 to advance to the semis.  He lost to the eventual champion in the semis but bounced back to win his third place match against a player from St. Charles North to complete his good day.

Christoph Goettler and Mitchell Nguyen had a terrific day at #1 doubles.  After surviving the wind through the first two rounds, the duo made quick work of a St. Charles North team in the semis to advance to the championship match against a team from Urbana University High that finished in the state’s top 8 last year.  The championship match was high quality, with Metamora ultimately prevailing, 6-4, 7-6.  It was the first regular-season loss for Urbana University in two years and also was Metamora’s first ever #1 doubles championship at the Bloomington Invite.

Caleb Neumann and Trevor Lewandowski handled the duties at #2 doubles for Metamora.  Lewandowski filled in for the injured Nick Becker.  After a very close opening-round loss to Normal Community, the duo bounced back to record wins over Lockport, Tinley Park Andrew, and St. Charles North to finish a nice day.

Brendan Axelson and Michael Doublin played #3 doubles for the Redbirds, finishing 3-1 on the day.  They suffered a third set tie-break loss in the opening round (11-9 in the tie-break) against Bloomington before defeating teams from Danville, St. Charles North, and Normal U-High.

In the team standings, Metamora finished with 29 points, one short of Normal U-High’s 30.

Redbirds Travel to Edwardsville Dual Invite

Edwardsville (03/30/13) – For the fourth year in a row, the Redbird tennis team spent the last weekend in March in metropolitan St. Louis for the Edwardsville Dual Invitational.  This 32-team event has become stronger every year, with the 2013 tournament certainly being the deepest and strongest of all time.

Metamora opened its tournament with a 5-0 win over Carbondale.  The Terriers would go on to win their sectional later in the year, but they were no match for the Redbirds.  Will Koehrsen and Ryan Willard won singles matches, while the doubles duos of Christoph Goettler and Mitchell Nguyen, Caleb Neumann and Nick Becker, and Brendan Axelson and Trevor Lewandowski all won in straight sets.

The second match of the day was against Belleville East on their home courts.  The Lancers would finish 9th in the state later in the year, but Metamora was able to defeat them on this day, 3-2.  Will Koehrsen and Mitchell Nguyen pulled off singles wins for Metamora, while Christoph Goettler and Caleb Neumann recorded a nice doubles win at #1.

The second day of the tournament did not go as well for Metamora, as the Redbirds combined tough opponents with their own experimental line-ups.  Metamora played Louisville St. Xavier, a 20-time Kentucky state champion, in the quarterfinals.  St. Xavier went on to win the Kentucky state title again in 2013.  The Redbirds played tough but were unable to dent the scoreboard, falling 5-0.  Later in the day, Metamora dropped 3-2 decisions to Downers Grove South and Normal U-High, having great chances in both but coming up on the short end.  DGS was another sectional champion and finished in the state’s top 10 later in the season.

The trip to Edwardsville is always a nice building block for Metamora.  The Redbirds took on three squads that would go on to win a sectional crown and another that would ultimately win a state championship.  This kind of competition early in the season can only lead to improved play later in the year.

Redbirds Champs of Red & White Invite

Metamora (03/23/13) – Metamora’s 2013 tennis team continued its hot start to the season by winning the 12th Annual Red & White Invitational, held at The Clubs at River City.  The Redbirds outplayed seven other squads, scoring 38 team points.  Barrington and Rockford Guilford were 2nd and 3rd with 32 and 28 points, respectively.

Will Koehrsen captured the #1 singles title, winning over Champaign Centennial sophomore Sunny Singh in the final, 6-4, 7-5.  The Redbird junior won his opening two matches by the identical score of 6-0, 6-0; both matches were against returning state qualifiers.  In the championship match, Koehrsen and Singh played brilliant points throughout the match.  Koehrsen served for the match at 5-3 in the second set, but Singh rallied to push it to 5-5.  At that point, Koehrsen dug in and played two nearly perfect games to finish the match.  Both players should have terrific seasons on the singles court.

Freshman Ryan Willard had another good day at #2 singles for Metamora.  He opened with a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Notre Dame’s Sonny Parks.  In the semis, he ran into eventual champ Ian Beeman of Rockford Guilford, losing 6-2, 6-1.  Willard picked up important team points in the 3rd place match, playing his best match of the day in beating returning state qualifier David Dobrose of Ottawa, 6-3, 6-2.

Senior Christoph Goettler and junior Mitchell Nguyen continued their impressive doubles play, capturing the #1 doubles crown without dropping a set.  The doubles draw was very competitive, as almost every team had a very good duo.  In the first round, the Redbird pair beat Chatham-Glenwood, 6-0, 6-0.  The semis brought a very good team from Rockford Guilford.  Despite falling behind 2-0 in both sets, Goettler and Nguyen fought for a well-earned 6-3, 6-2 victory to reach the final.  In the championship round, Metamora faced a Barrington team that had only dropped two games in two matches.  Both squads played solid tennis, with Metamora capturing the first set 7-5 courtesy of a late break.  In the second set, Metamora got off to a 5-2 lead before Barrington rallied.  The Bronco pair couldn’t come all the way back, though, as Metamora ultimately won 7-5, 6-4.

Senior Caleb Neumann and junior Nick Becker looked considerably better this week than they did a week ago, playing three good matches to finish 2nd place at #2 doubles.  The Redbirds beat Ottawa and Dunlap, both by the score of 6-1, 6-1, before meeting Barrington in the final.  The Barrington team is extremely talented and, despite Metamora’s fine play in the match, the Broncos were too much to overcome.  

Last year, the Red & White Invite featured three teams that would go on to win sectional titles and 22 players who would go on to qualify for the state tournament.  This early season good competition is good preparation for all of the involved teams.  To be able to win the event speaks highly of the early season play of the Redbird team.  Congratulations to all on a great tournament and good luck to the other Red & White Invite teams during the rest of the season!

Indoor Event Kicks off Season

Metamora (03/16/13) – The 2013 tennis season officially began Saturday with Metamora’s annual indoor event, held at The Clubs at River City.  20-time state champion New Trier and 12-time defending sectional champion Edwardsville joined the field for the first time, combining with Metamora, Moline, and Springfield to form an outstanding field of tennis players.

Redbird players had a very good day, finishing with an overall match record of 8-4.

Senior Christoph Goettler finished his day with a perfect 3-0 record at #1 doubles, teaming with junior Will Koehrsen once and junior Mitchell Nguyen twice.  The biggest result of the day was Goettler’s and Nguyen’s victory over New Trier.  The Redbird duo outplayed two sensational Trevian players, winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-1.  Goettler was also a big part of #1 doubles victories over Moline and Edwardsville.

Koehrsen also had a terrific result, winning a nearly two-and-a-half hour battle of wills with Edwardsville standout Brandon Harris, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.  Earlier, he teamed with Goettler to defeat a fine Moline duo at #1 doubles, 6-2, 5-7, 6-0.  Will finished his day by battling valiantly with New Trier’s first team all-stater, Alex Galoustian, before losing 6-4, 6-3.

Nguyen played one singles match, defeating Moline’s defending singles sectional champion, Justin Rumley, in straight sets.  Nguyen’s most impressive play of the day, however, was clearly on the doubles court, as he and Goettler combined to play two very high level matches against Edwardsville and New Trier.

Freshman Ryan Willard won his debut two matches as a Redbird, fighting off Moline’s #2 singles player in three long sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, and winning over Springfield’s #2 player, 6-1, 6-0.  He was unable to finish a perfect day, however, as he dropped his final match to a very skilled New Trier singles player.

Senior Caleb Neumann and junior Nick Becker played their first doubles matches together and looked very competent for the first day of the season.  They nearly defeated a talented team from Moline, losing in three sets in the first match of the day.  After recording a victory over Springfield, the Redbird duo jumped to a 5-1 lead over a New Trier pair before dropping a 7-5, 6-2 decision.  The experience gained from these early season matches, however, will serve them well throughout the rest of the year.

The indoor event always features high level play, but this year may have been the best group ever.  Good luck to the rest of the squads as they travel throughout the state over the next two months.

2013 Mid-Illini Boys Tennis Preview

Metamora (12/20/12) – The 2013 Mid-Illini boys tennis season should feature some of the best competition in all of downstate Illinois.  Tennis teams from Metamora and Morton look to continue to be outstanding, while the rest of the league looks to continue improving.  Metamora’s tennis team is the six-time defending conference champion, the longest run in the history of the conference.  To continue that streak, however, will require the Redbirds to overcome an incredibly talented Morton team that returns five of its top six players from a year ago.

Individually, the league boasts many players who have already achieved lofty awards and some others that hope to do so.  Metamora’s Will Koehrsen is a two-time all-state honoree in singles, while Christoph Goettler was an all-state doubles player last year.  Morton twins Grant and Trent Reiman were all-state doubles players last year, and Pekin senior Derek Rineberg is a two-time sectional singles champion.  As a whole, the Mid-Illini teams return a staggering twelve state qualifiers from a year ago.

In 2012, Metamora was the champion of the Dunlap Sectional and Morton was the winner at the Bloomington Sectional.  Those two squads will look to accomplish that feat again in 2013, but Richwoods should significantly challenge Metamora while Normal U-High looks to be the top team in the Twin Cities.

(Metamora has been unranked)

Predicted M-I Finish Last Year’s Result Last 11 Years
Metamora (Kelly Willard – 16th year)
23-4 (1st)
1. Morton (Joal Stanfield – 9th)
18-0 (2nd)
2. Dunlap (Pat Gornik – 2nd) 9-8 (3rd) 121-59
3. East Peoria (Shane Smith – 12th)
4-7 (5th)
4. Washington (Dave Krostal – 13th)
8-5 (4th)
5. Pekin (Pat Lowder – 1st)
7-6 (6th)
6. Limestone (Bill Wallinger – 5th)
2-11 (7th)


Coached By:

  • Joal Stanfield (9th year – record of 95-30)

Long Gone
  • Wes Crandall – 2nd team all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (2012).
  • Calen Crim – 2nd team all-conference, Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (2011), Mid-Illini doubles champion (#2 – 2012).
Returning for More:
  • Grant Reiman – two-time all-conference, two-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini singles runner-up (2011, 2012), sectional doubles champion (2012), sectional doubles runner-up (2011), second team all-state (2012).
  • Trent Reiman – two-time all-conference, two-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini singles runner-up (#2 – 2012, 2011), sectional doubles champion (2012), sectional doubles runner-up (2011), second team all-state (2012).
  • Taylor Nave – two-time all-conference, three-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles champion (#2 – 2012, 2011).
  • Jonah Laktas – 2nd team all-conference, two-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (2012), Mid-Illini doubles champion (#2 – 2011).
  • Chandler Stimpert – 2nd team all-conference.
Potter Outlook:
Morton featured its best tennis team in school history in 2012, compiling a dual record of 18-0 and qualifying all six Potter players for the state meet.  Morton finished second in the Mid-Illini Conference to Metamora but won every other tournament it played during the year.  The Potters finished a remarkable 15th in the state tournament.

Morton will try again in 2013 to unseat Metamora from the top of the league.  They will do so with five returning all-conference players and four returning state qualifiers.  The Reiman twins will look to improve on their outstanding 9th-12th place doubles finish at last year’s state meet.  At the sectional level, Morton should battle Normal Community and Normal U-High for its ninth sectional plaque in the last decade.

Interesting Facts:
  • Morton has finished 1st or 2nd in the Mid-Illini Conference in 17 of the last 18 seasons. Only in 2010 (4th) did Morton finish outside the league’s top two.
  • Morton’s Taylor Nave has qualified for the state meet in each of his first three varsity seasons but has posted a state tournament record of 0-6.
  • Other than Metamora’s three-year unbeaten conference run from 2009-2011, no other Mid-Illini school has gone unbeaten in the league for two straight years in the last 15 seasons.  Morton will try to accomplish that in 2013.


Coached By:

  • Pat Gornik (2nd year – record of 9-8)

Long Gone:

  • John Gootee – second team all-conference, state qualifier.
  • Conner Garrison, Greyson Keenan, John Collins.
Returning for More:
  • Jadin Dam, CT Castor, Ethan Dam, Joshua Han.
Eagle Outlook:

Dunlap returned to a winning record last year after two consecutive losing campaigns.  Second-year coach Pat Gornik saw his top four players graduate, however, so the going may be rough for the Eagles in 2013. Jadin and Ethan Dam will lead the way for Dunlap in 2013, and the depth of the Eagle tennis team will be leaned on to help Dunlap have success in the Mid-Illini Conference.
Interesting Facts
  • Prior to 2010, Dunlap had never lost to any Mid-Illini opponent other than Metamora or Morton. In the last three seasons, the Eagles have been defeated by Pekin (twice) and Washington (once).
  • Dunlap qualified a singles player for the state meet last year, its first state qualifier since the Eagles won the Peoria Sectional in 2009.
  • In 2004 and 2005, Dunlap was 4-0 in dual matches against Morton.  However, Morton won the Mid-Illini title each of those two seasons.


Coached By:

  • Dave Krostal (13th year – record of 67-103)

Long Gone:

  • Dan Nulty, Kody Dexheimer.
Returning for More:
  • Bryan Kinas  2nd team all-conference, state qualifier.
  • Brett Grimes – 2nd team all-conference, state qualifier.
  • Tyler Johnson, Conner Davis, Hank Stolz.
Panther Outlook:

Washington returns its top two players to the courts in 2013 in seniorsBryan Kinas and Brett Grimes.  The duo qualified for the state meet in 2012 as a doubles pair and looks to repeat that feat this year.  The Panthers lost only two significant contributors, so their overall team strength should be very solid.  Competing for 3rd place in the Mid-Illini Conference seems very possible for this group.

Interesting Facts:
  • Washington defeated Dunlap for the first time in school history in 2011. The Panthers are now 1-82 against Metamora, Morton, and Dunlap since 1994.
  • Kinas and Grimes won a match in the back draw at the state meet last year.  As a whole, Mid-Illini teams recorded 21 victories at state in 2012.


Coached By:

  • Shane Smith (12th year – record of 46-85)

Long Gone:

  • Aaron Kurth – state qualifier.
  • Ross Brimberry, Ian Kurth.
Returning for More:
  • Jake Ellis – state qualifier.
  • Jacob Ellis, Jared Kahl, James Newlan.

Important Newcomer:

  • Calen Crim – (transfer from Morton) 2nd team all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (2011), Mid-Illini doubles champion (#2 – 2012)
Raider Outlook: 

East Peoria has qualified a doubles duo for the state meet each of the last two seasons, and the Raiders are poised for more success in 2013.  Bolstered by senior transfer Calen Crim, a Morton player for the last three seasons, East Peoria looks to have its best team in several years.  Jake Ellis is a returning state qualifier and will have the luxury of moving down in the line-up in 2013.  Jared Kahl and Eli Dixon will provide competent play in the middle of the Raider line-up for 13th year head coach Shane Smith.
Interesting Facts:
  • EP boss Shane Smith is one of three Mid-Illini head coaches working at their alma maters. Metamora’s Kelly Willard and Morton’s Joal Stanfield are also graduates of their current employers.
  • East Peoria’s 3-3 league record in 2006 was the only time in the last 17 years that the Raiders have won at least half of their conference matches.


Coached By:

  • Pat Lowder (1st year)

Long Gone:

  • Ben Stuff, Brandon Parker. 

Returning for More: 

  • Derek Rineberg – three-time all-conference, three-time state qualifier, sectional singles champion (2011, 2012), Mid-Illini singles runner-up (2010).
  • Timmy Latronico, Jake Melissant, Cole Pyatt.

Dragon Outlook: 

Pekin has been led for the last three seasons by senior Derek Rineberg, who enters his final year of high school competition in 2013.  The Dragon stalwart has played #1 singles for the last three years, winning sectional crowns in each of the last two seasons.  He will be joined by junior Timmy Latronico at the top of the Pekin line-up in 2013.  The rest of the Pekin line-up will have to perform if the Dragons are to maintain their position near the top of the Mid-Illini Conference.

Interesting Facts: 

  • Derek Rineberg’s last two sectional titles in singles showed the strength of the Mid-Illini Conference. Rineberg has finished third each of the last two years in the conference tournament, behind Metamora’s Will Koehrsen and Morton’s Grant Reiman.


Coached By:

  • Bill Wallinger (5th year – record of 12-43)

Long Gone:

  • None.

Returning for More:

  • Hillman, Rendleman, Chiaravalle, Robbins, Martin, Predmore.

Rocket Outlook: 

Limestone returns all six of its players who ended the 2012 season in the varsity line-up.  The Rockets are 1-55 in Mid-Illini matches over the last eight years but hope to find a way to get on the winning side of a Mid-Illini match in 2013.

Interesting Facts: 

  • Despite its struggles within the league, the Rockets are 25-31 over the last eight years in non-conference matches.
  • Limestone last finished above .500 in 2002, when the Rockets were 7-6 overall, 4-6 in the Mid-Illini Conference.
  • Limestone has never defeated Metamora, Morton, or Dunlap.


Coached By:

  • Kelly Willard (16th year – record of 212-46)

Long Gone: 

  • Quinn Vaughn – two-time all-conference, two-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles champion (2011, 2012), sectional doubles champion (2011, 2012), honorable mention all-state (doubles – 2012).
  • Jordan Rauh, Alec Gardner, Johannes Wolf, Alberto Poletto.

Returning for More: 

  • Will Koehrsen – two-time all-conference, two-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini singles champion (2011, 2012), sectional singles champion (2011, 2012), honorable mention all-state (singles – 2011, 2012),Peoria Journal Star Player of the Year – 2011, 2012.
  • Mitchell Nguyen – two-time all-conference, two-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles champion (2011), Mid-Illini singles champion (#2 – 2012), sectional doubles champion (2011), sectional singles runner-up (2012).
  • Christoph Goettler – all-conference, two-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles champion (2012), Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (#2 – 2011), sectional doubles champion (2012), sectional doubles runner-up (2011), honorable mention all-state (doubles – 2012).
  • Caleb Neumann – Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (#2 – 2012).
  • Nick Becker, Trevor Lewandowski, Michael Doublin.

Important Newcomers:

Ryan Willard. 
Redbird Outlook: 

The Redbirds will go after their seventh consecutive Mid-Illini and sectional titles in 2013 with a nice mix of experience and youth.  The top of the Metamora line-up will be very intimidating to many opponents, as juniors Will Koehrsen and Mitchell Nguyen and senior Christoph Goettler provide loads of experience and talent.  The development of the bottom half of the line-up, however, may be the key for 16th year coach Kelly Willard.  Metamora will expect big things from senior Caleb Neumann as well as a trio of juniors,Nick Becker, Trevor Lewandowski, and Michael Doublin.  Also look for freshman Ryan Willard to impact the Redbird roster.

Interesting Facts: 

  • Redbird doubles players have won the last four Mid-Illini doubles titles and seven consecutive sectional doubles crowns.
  • Metamora has swept sectional titles (team, singles, doubles) in each of the last three years.  During those three seasons, the Redbirds have scored 92 points at the sectional level, with 100 being perfect.