Expectations are high for the OPRF tennis team to not only match last season’s success, but to possibly eclipse its third place finish at state.
“Winning conference and winning state are certainly attainable,” said long-time coach John Morlidge. “We’ll focus first on conference.”
OPRF hasn’t won the West Suburban (Silver) Conference since 1997. Hinsdale Central, who won it last year and finished second at state, lost four of its top players to graduation.
Of the six that played in the state tournament last year for OPRF, five players return. Devin Jones, Luke Trinka, Eric Bruynseels, Tim McAdam and Jake Wilson are all back for the Huskies. Wilson and Alex Gebert, who graduated, finished fifth overall in doubles action last year.
“It’s really a mystery right now where guys are going to be playing, but Wilson, McAdam and Bruynseels have a lot of experience in doubles, so they’re likely to play there,” said Morlidge. “We have several very good singles players to choose from.”
Along with Jones and Trinka, others looking to find spots in singles include Jeremy Dixon, Graham Lehman, Cameron Uslander, D.J. Arends and Taylor Christmas.
Two freshmen that Morlidge said show promise are Declan Siefkas and Joe Charbel.
Standing in OPRF’s way for a state title will likely be defending champ New Trier.
“We’ll have to get points from everyone, but this is one of the most talented teams I’ve ever coached,” said Morlidge. “Add depth to the factor, and we are looking like a team that can do some special things this season.”