Wednesday, April 18, 2007

2007 Preview: 4.5 Division

This year the 4.5 league has three different divisions. With 4 teams qualifying for playoffs, the one wild card spot will be based on record. Sets and games may come into play, so the season should be interesting.

The biggest news in 4.5 is the absence of the Mob Squad. They have dominated the league for the last five or six years, but their team had seen better days. The much whispered rumor of a Mob Squad - Sugar Creek merger appears to be off, but rosters still have another day to fill up. If that happens, that team will be a big factor.

In Division I, there are two heavyweight teams: Jedi Knights and Schwing. Both teams have very good doubles and are a bit soft in singles. Schwing might be smart to move Huckler into singles after his win in the 5.0 division in Kingwood. Jedi Knights have Ryan Cooper and possibly Andre Dafel for singles (is he healed?). Jedi's doubles are a bit stronger, as are their singles. They're my pick. There are two other decent teams in the division. West Side had a surprising year last year, but their talent is still somewhat inferior. Copperfield has some nice players, but little depth. Adam Kent and Mike Salinas are decent singles players, but not good enough to hang with the big boys. Pencil them in for third. Lost Forest team is a mess at this point.

In Division II we probably have the two best teams in the city. Kingwood has been a perennial power and appears to have improved slightly with the addition of the Dibuas. However, their singles seems very weak. Adam Paschal is an unknown commodity; if he's a singles stud their team improves tremendously. Phi Huynh and Ricky Barrera are solid but not good enough to get it done at Sectionals. Kingwood's doubles are tremendous, however. Burkhart's Hangovers are equally strong in doubles. Green/Morton and Li/Regent are a great 1-2 punch. Rest assured Green and Burkhart have some ringers on the sidelines waiting to sign up at the last minute. That will tip the scales in their favor, as clearly the singles players they have signed up now are not good enough. The good news is that the other two teams in the Divsion are quite poor. The second place team should be able to beat up on them enough to secure the wildcard into city playoffs.

In Divsion III we have what appears to be the weakest divsion. Rice has a huge 1-2 singles punch in Kudva and Magid. Their doubles is quite poor however. Interestingly, there are a couple of 4.5 rated players (Jamshidi and Nanjappa) that are on the Rice 5.0 team that could turn them into City champions probably. So we'll see how that plays out. Sugar Creek seems to be the second best team here, but without any Mob Squad castoffs they're clearly not good enough. Burmann/Day and Cooney (and perhaps Eric Bedient if he signs up) are quite solid, but the remainder is average at best.

Basically at this point it looks like the City playoffs will come down to Jedi Knights, Kingwood, Hangovers and Rice. It will certainly be a dogfight, but the Hangovers will probably prevail.


  1. Nanjappa is NOT a 4.5. I am glad to see he has a conscience and is playing on the 5.0 team. Like you stated, he is one the better players in 5.0.
    I am ready for one of the Rice guys to out themselves as the writer of this blog.

  2. I don't think the writer is from Rice,

  3. The writer sounds like Gregory R. Dwyer