Monday, July 21, 2008

The Locals

In a desperate attempt to deflect attention from myself, I think I'll focus on the local Sectional representatives and take a quick look at their brackets and possibilities for advancement.

Let's start with the 5.0 division, which has gotten little attention in this blog in 2008. Lost Forest is our representative and they have an extremely talented roster which, unlike last year, has a legitimate shot at making it to Nationals. One local keen observer has told me that the Lost Forest 5.0 team has a better shot at Nationals than do the Kingwood Crush or Met Hurricanes. There is exceptional talent on the roster, with Alim Mambetov, Antonio Rivera and former Longhorn Otis Sadler leading the way. Throw in veterans Robert Bickmore, Brian Taylor and others and it's clear that Lost Forest can definitely put out a 5 man lineup with few weaknesses. If everyone makes the trip, we could see a Houston 5.0 team back at Nationals for the first time in a long time (was Allen Teague's David Pierson-led team the last 5.0 team to make it from here or have I forgotten someone?)

There's not much to say about Kingwood that hasn't already been said. There doubles strength and depth is on a par with any team in the state. Valentine and Dibua straight setted a super team in the city finals and probably won't see too many better teams in Dallas. We all know that Hurlbert and Armstrong have been absolutely untouchable. I really feel that this is the year that Jimmy will have to dip into his doubles lines and pluck Hurlbert out for some singles strength. Based on his strokes and age and movement on the doubles court, I'd have to wager that he would be a stud in singles. The status of Juan Lopez's hamstring is still a mystery to me and many others, but having him in Dallas would greatly aid the cause.

In Kingwood's division, it appears that Corpus' Division I signee Andrew Maingot is still eligible, and as noted, Dallas Wild can throw out two exceptional singles players in Phat Bui and Henry Gonzales, so if Kingwood doesn't find some singles strength, the season may end in disappointment.

The other area representative in 4.5 is Craig Bobo's NOHO squad. They're in a stacked division, with the Valley and Austin and San Antonio. There are a bunch of wild rumors about this division: Doug Langford of Austin will not be playing, the San Antonio team will be "packing it in" in an attempt to keep everyone at this level for their big push to Nationals next year, and even a rumor that many of the stars of the NoHo team will not be traveling to Sectionals. Most or all of these are probably untrue and should be taken with a grain of salt, but it certainly makes this pool the one to watch up in Dallas.

Dave Wanja snuck his two matches in under the gun. If Heim is as good as advertised, then Bobo/Whitsett and Benzon/Wanja will definitely give them three lines that nobody will take lightly. Who will be the #2 singles guy? Antoine Ford didn't look to be the answer earlier in the season...

In 4.0, the Met Hurricanes have gotten much of the attention across the state due in great part to Jason Freeman's stellar track record for getting his teams to Nationals. This year's bunch looked extremely vulnerable in citywides, and in fact was quite lucky to escape an underrated and talented Sienna team. Their pool is tough, with Bill Sanders' Waco team (National Champs two years ago) and a Dallas Wild team which features former 5.0 players Gene Davis and Mitch McGowan leading the team. Merhi and Foster looked stellar during city playoffs for the 'Canes, but even the vaunted singles players showed some warts. Captain February will have to push all the right buttons this year without Kern/Ahmed type players.

Chancellor's chances will be bolstered by the return of a couple of their top players. Jonathan Hao Nguyen has been money this year, and will allow grinders Jerry Pham and Ismael Dutchover to get some rest after wearing down their opponents. Chancellor's also looked very vulnerable during city playoffs, but should show renewed strength with their talent re-infusion. Austin and their super-ringer Colin McKinsey appear to be the biggest hurdle to Chancellor's making it to Sunday.

The Noho 4.0 team hasn't gotten any pub in these parts, but they are a solid, underrated group of guys who will give teams trouble up there. Will Norton returned last year after a tennis layoff and has beaten almost everyone in his path. Peter Razeghi is an unknown, but his scores indicate that he could surprise some folks. Former marathoner Kevin Burke is as fit as they come, and shows a lot of power on the doubles court, and Mohan Jacob is perhaps the most unorthodox doubles player in the area, but his style can give some players fits.

123 comments:

  1. Dallas sucks balls

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  2. Should be good tennis in the heat.
    Sorry Freeman, no generator and fans this year.

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  3. 4.5 Will be intersting.
    Royal Oaks can throw out 4 Singles players, 3 of which would be on par with Dibua and Lopez.
    Doubles will be their downfall.
    Also why has TTA not been flooded with grievances on Maingot, for crying out loud it states clearly in the guidelines that signing a letter of intent at a Top 75 D1 == 5.5, why Tosha and others do not just step in and DQ the kid is ridiculous.
    Obviously Armstrong/Hurlbert will be the Top Team, but I would love to see them play Slezak/Williams from Dallas.

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  4. Sienna team sucks balls also
    Chancellor rules !!

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  5. Valentine/Wright, and Hurlbert/Armstrong are almost untouchable in 4.5. All Kingwood needs is one solid line of singles and they can win every match 3-2.

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  6. Glen Wright has lost many many matches at city wides and sectionals over the years. NO way is he untouchable. I have not seen Valentine but still he can't be that good.

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  7. As far as I know, the rumor about Langford not going is true. The Austin team in the NOHO group is going to need someone to step up in singles, as they will be there without their top three singles guys. I think we are overlooking the Valley team, they should not lose any singles matches this year, I'm picking them to be playing on Sunday.

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  8. Valentine is going to surprise all you doubters in singles and doubles. The guy is an Aussie with Big Game and sick hands around the Net. IMO Kingwoods strongest line-up is as follows 1.Lopez 2.Hurlbert 1.Valentine/Armstrong 2.Dibua/Pekhar/Vu 3. Burris/Burris. This Team is Deep and will represent Houston well. about time Kilshaw has filled in the missing pieces.

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  9. Man, actually got Greg to use Captain February! Let's hope it continues to catch on. I think Greg however may be underselling the Hurricanes. I think they will be very tough to beat. I'm looking forward to watching the match against Dallas.
    4.5 will be full of a ton of good matches and should be lots of fun to watch. Hopefully pool II won't turn into a bunch of people predetermining what's going to happen as it should be a great pool.

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  10. Kern congrats in all your success in 4.5's. It will be interesting to see if your Captain will use you in Singles or in Doubles.With your Serve and Volley Game it will be interesting to see you match up with the powerhouses that Branch's team has and the Ft. worth team also should be tough.

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  11. Check out the Abilene roster, they have three guys from the Mcmurray University team, including one guy (Rainwater) who beat Chad Case in the Mason tournament last week.

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  12. He may have beat Chad Case in a tourney, but he also lost to Gound pretty handily too. Maybe some would assume him beating Case, that he tanked against Gound?

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  13. Or that Case is tanking his way back to 4.5 for next year.

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  14. My understanding is if you get bumped up based on results, then you remain at that level for at least 3 years unless you have a medical appeal etc. that the USTA approves. Have heard of a few guys sitting out after they get bumped up for almost 3 years in hopes of getting bumped down.

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  15. You are only required to remain at that level for 3 years if you don't play at all.

    Tim Green, for example, got bumped to 5.0 this year. He has played 5.0 tournaments and quite possibly/probably at the end of the year the computer will again deem him a 4.5.

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  16. Green has done a great job tanking this year.

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  17. No need for Green to tank, he is not a 5.0 level league player.

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  18. Captain FebruaryJuly 22, 2008 at 9:05 AM

    Can I get a cape and some theme music?

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  19. We could get a Wonder Woman outfit and an invisible jet for you Captain February.

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  20. please don't ask for tights!

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  21. not trying to rude but some of you guys are complaining about an unranked DIII player, yet allowed Trent Broach and chance Morgan to sneak into the 4.5 leagues with no qualms, quite funny to read. Another worse example is Maingot from CC or Gonzales from WC Dallas.

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  22. so is noone batting an eye that Wanja got his two matches in on the same day including one full team default on 7/17 even though last scheduled match was 6/28 and the full team default was from the 1st match of season vs. the 2nd place
    What is going on in NOHO or is this par for the course Benzon and company?

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  23. NOHO will get dominated at Sectionals so who cares about the Wanja situation. Everyone knows that come Sunday Kingwood Crush will be the true Team representing Houston!!!

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  24. Bobo or Benzon wrote that last comment I bet. Nice Try.

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  25. Anything surrounding a Benzon team is always going to stir up controversy.

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  26. I'm sure the last poster won't even be at Sectionals so what does it matter. Controversy is good for League Tennis. A lot of Teams at Sectionals this Year have set a High presidence but No one has completed the puzzle. This Blog is informative but by no means taken serious amongst the veteran teams and Captains. Take it for what its worth which is mainly just talk and talk.

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  27. Does anyone have any predictions about the final 4 in the 4.0's? What about the 2nd place team in 4.5's

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  28. 4.0 SEMIS:
    Houston v. Austin
    NETX v. Dallas Wild

    4.5 SEMIS:
    Houston v. NOHO
    Dallas Wild v. Dallas

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  29. First of all, I have never posted behind the big "A". Secondly, we played our other 4.5 Team as a make-up match and Kris Knutson offered us a forfeit since we had already wrapped up the league mathematically. Craig

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  30. Memory serves me right, Bobo and Phong beat Valentine and Wright just a few short weeks ago...doesn't sound so invincible to me.

    Witsett and Bobo are clearly stronger than anyone on the Kingwood team including Armstrong and Hulbert.

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  31. Someone's smoking weed

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  32. Alright... Who have I pissed off. Who is stirring the pot. First of all, Steve, Glenn, Gary & Tim are all friends of mine, not to mention that they are great players. I have the utmost respect for their games. Yes, Phong and I edged out Valentine-Wright in 2 close sets, but the following week they beat Jacob Vernon & I in 3. Tim Hurlbert is the only person I have lost to twice including my play in 5.0's. Ben & I have become a very formidable team over the last 14 months together, but Armstrong-Hurlbert, Armstrong-Valentine, & Hurlbert-Valentine would all be tough hard fought matches, possibly going either way. Glenn, Omon, & Rob also make great combinations with any of the aforementioned players... -And that's just to name a few. I agree with many of the previous posts... Jimmy's got a great team and they are very deep. Again, I don't know who is trying to stir the pot, but I appreciate your leaving my name out of it. we need to root for our section to field the best teams at sectionals, giving us a shot to bring home the national title. Craig Bobo

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  33. I would like to see that matchup, Craig. It would be a good one. I was hoping we'd see it when the Hurricanes played Kingwood in the regular season.

    Craig, does it look like you'll have all of your top guns in Dallas? Every match up there should be a dogfight for you if all the teams bring their top players.

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  34. Sorry Glen... Glen Wright has taken me twice too... Ken Burkhart & I lost to Hurlbert-Pekar & Ben & I lost to Hurlbert-Wright a year ago June. Then, just recently as I mentioned Jacob Vernon and I lost to Valentine-Wright. Steve & I are 1-1 against each other & Glen & I are 2-2 against each other. However, I am 0-2 against Hurlbert... both were close matches with numerous 3-3 points, but IMO Tim Hurlbert is the toughest one on the team that I have faced. Now, I have not faced Gary Armstrong, but as I said earlier he is tough as well. Ben & I were 4-1 at Sectionals last year, whereas Armstrong-Hurlbert were 5-0, so you cannot bet against them when they are both healthy. Craig Bobo

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  35. Greg...

    I am not sure yet. We will have a strong roster, but not sure if we will wind up with everyone. If we do have everyone, then I believe we have just as good a shot as anyone. -But I am not aware of how good some of these ringers are from Corpus, the Valley, and I have read on the blog about these 3 McMurray players on the Abilene Team... -anyone know about them? Also, I understand that Rusty Branch has a couple of Colin County players on his team that are very solid in singles. What's your take on these teams? Craig

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  36. "unorthodox double player in the area" this title belongs to Donnie Joseph Rochelle. If you have not seen him ask Chris Towle about him. How can you loose to him and still get bumped to 4.5 Chris? Thats not right!

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  37. Haha Craig is on Red benzon's team and he is fuming about other teams ringers???? You guys have all the ringers buddy, well except for Hurlbert who is a 5.5 and somehow slipped under the Benzon radar.

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  38. Hurlbert would be competitive in 5.0, but he is not a 5.5 player. Pair him with his brother in doubles, and likely they would not lose at the Sectional level in 5.0.

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  39. I don't think Craig was complaining about ringers, he was inquiring to other team's players and their abilities.

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  40. Ringers are Guaranteed Wins and to my knowledge there are no ringers in Houston at the moment.

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  41. William Heim from NOHO is pretty good from what I hear. Not sure if he will make the trip or not.

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  42. Can anyone truly say that they would call someone an outright lock to win in singles. Maignot from Corpus sounds close what about Gonzalez from the Wild Dallas or Maybe even Lopez from Crush. His Brother was unbeatable in Years Past that's what a Ringer Really is. I'm sure Ahmed and Kern where considered Ringers last year in 4.0's but Don't think anyone really stands out this year. For all those who are counting Doubles lines early you'll have a rude awakening once the 3rd set Tiebreaker comes into play and you go home packing saying we should of had that Doubles Line because it was so close.

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  43. I was not complaining and do not worry about ringers. Like the last poster said, I was merely inquiring about their games & wanting to know how good they really are... Ringers are on every team at the sectional & national level. As I stated about a year ago, this is not a local nor a sectional problem, this is a National problem; -actually a national epidemic, because the USTA is IMO turns the other cheek & are merely a money-making machine. So many of you that whine and complain about the Red Benzon's, Alan Torres', Rusty Branch's, Jimmy Kilshaw's & Jason Freeman's... They have been to Sectionals & Nationals, so they know what the USTA allows and doesn't allow and they know what they will run up against at those levels. Each of us may have a different mindset of how things should be done and what the USTA needs to do fix it, but until the USTA does something about it, we as players either choose a team that plays to have fun or plays to win. Either way is fine, and I do not criticize those that just play to have to fun. So, instead of complaining about each of these players and their captains, complain to the USTA National Office to make some changes. Until then, lace 'em up and go play. If you don't like it, then drop a level, and then you'll be called a ringer by those players. Craig

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  44. You guys needs to stop worrying/whining about the Maingot kid. He is not that good. So there's a news report that he signed with TAMU-CC, but I bet he doesn't get more than 10% of a scholarship. Plus he won't even be on the roster next year (that is already posted). He has not won more than 1 match at a major zone all year and hasn't beat a player in the top-100... look

    http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/Rankings/PlayerRecords.aspx?id=475794&p=21

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  45. The records posted are in Super Champ Boys-he is obviously not on his way to a professional career in tennis winning Grand Slams, but Super Champ boys are typically pretty good.

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  46. Granted he is pretty good. But pretty good won't cut it next weekend. His rank isn't very good, and TAMU-CC is no Stanford or Georgia or Baylor. I don't see what all the fuss over him is about.

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  47. The kid isn't that good. Seriously, even Red could win a match over a top-100 Super Champ if you gave him 5 tries.

    Now looking into this further, the rules say that any "Division I Top 75 ranked college team or player (commited to, playing, or played)", under age 30 cannot rate lower than a 6.0...

    If you check the latest ITA rankings, TAMU-CC was #75. http://www.itatennis.com/AwardsAndRankings/Rankings/0708D1Men/MensDivITeamRankings_5-23-08.htm

    You can then find the article about him committing here, http://www.kristv.com/global/story.asp?s=8551675

    hmmmm... TOSHA!

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  48. Since he is redshirting he may not have been given a scholarship or signed a letter of intent. If he hasn't then technically he wouldn't be committed,correct? Seems like that could be the loophole, although they imply that he did sign in the story.
    I'm just trying to figure out how I've gotten myself into a division with people who can play on top 75 Division I schools. And more importantly people who aren't worried about them. I'm going to get embarassed badly! I'm going for 3.5 ladies, that's more my speed.

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  49. Someone has some free time on their hands: good find, and i am sure someone will tag him with it at Sectionals and have him DQed. There are some captains who like to wait til its important to do: after the kid has spent the money to travel and then find out his been DQed.

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  50. Someone has some free time on their hands: good find, and i am sure someone will tag him with it at Sectionals and have him DQed. There are some captains who like to wait til its important to do: after the kid has spent the money to travel and then find out his been DQed.

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  51. I'm sure the captains in the Corpus 4.5 brackets have articles in hand.

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  52. Maingot has already been protested to Tosha (not by me), although I don't believe the information from tennisrecruiting.net (or the article cited earlier) was included in the protest.

    Some of the elite captains (Torres, Benzon, probably Branch and Davis as well) have known this information for at least a month.

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  53. What further proof does Tosha need for a DQ on Maingot? Would an article taken directly from TAMU-CC Athletic Site work? If so here you go. http://www.goislanders.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=60015&SPID=6586&DB_OEM_ID=14100&ATCLID=1351998

    Get tired of all the players who have little man syndrome, that they have to beat up on weaker players to feel better about themselves. They can run home to mommy and yell look at me, look at me I just won a T-Shirt for beating up on weaker players.
    Nice Special Olympics Gold Medal I guess.

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  54. I don't know if Tosha has made a ruling on it yet, I only know that I have been told that he has been protested. It's even possible that the person who told me was misinformed.

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  55. Well I guess its up to Tosha then if he gets DQed, or has it already been decided?

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  56. I used examples from 2005 to file and win a grievance last year on a recent D2 Top 10 Team player.
    Look at Sahal Taweel (SA Team) and Clayton Morgan (Midland) they were recent graduates of ACU, they were protested and DQ'ed to 5.5, will not go into how Trent Broach, who was higher on the team managed to snake into 4.5.
    Maingot is no different than Morgan or Taweel or Pintaluba. The guidelines are there for a reason so not sure why Tosha and TTA will not just follow them. The article in question was circa Nov 2007 so it has been out there for quite some time.

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  57. Let's clear up one thing, it is the USTA Texas Section, not the TTA. It hasn't been the TTA for a long time.

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  58. Can anyone comment on the Valley? Noticed they are the only team not on the Sectional Website right now. Also they should only have 8 guys available as one of their 9 players had 2 defaults and not actual match played. Also the league format was 4 matches and they only played 1 set to 6. Finally neither of the other 2 teams in the league had any 4.5 players. So my question is why would they or should they be allowed to participate at Sectionals?
    Not bagging on them as they have at least 3-4 solid players, but the league setup does not seem to promote any type of fairness compared to standards used by other leagues around the section.

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  59. The Valley may be under somewhat different league rules because they are lucky to have enough guys to have one 4.5 team. I think Tyler and places like that are the same way.

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  60. That might be but Tyler still had to travel to Abilene to play the qualifier. I assume the Section might require 3 teams for a local league, whereas NETX only had 2 teams?

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  61. Did Tyler chose to travel, or were they required to travel to be able to advance to SEctionals?

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  62. Three teams are required to have an automatic berth to Sectionals. Of course, some leagues are a sham, with one real team and two manufactured teams of buddies helping their friends get to Sectionals.

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  63. New ar hacker - what you mean by this - can you expand ?

    I used examples from 2005 to file and win a grievance last year on a recent D2 Top 10 Team player.

    also, when you say 2007 nov article - what article are your referring to....

    having trouble keeping up.

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  64. In my local 4.5 AR League last year I had a captain self-rate a former Ouachita Baptist player from 03-06 and they were always Top 10 in D2 during those year and he played #3-#5 singles, plus he had an ITF win over a current pro who was #98 in the world at the time of the grievance. I used the DQ's of Clayton Morgan and Saheel Taweel as precedence for the grievance and Southern DQ'ed the player and bumped him to 5.5.

    The article I am talking about comes from the TAMU-CC Athletics Website and it was posted in November 2007 during the early signing period for Men's Tennis.

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  65. Just saw Federer lose to Giles Simon on the Tennis Channel. What a sandbagger. No way that loss is legit. You gotta know Federer was just trying to avoid that dreaded bump up to 7.5.

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  66. if somoene beats the # 98 player in the world - that is a legit dq. thanks for the clarification.

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  67. I think that Giles Simon could actually qualify as a 7.0 player in League. Maybe someone can give Wayne Odesnik a run for his Money this Year at League Nationals.

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  68. I was curious about the Valley as well they are one team not to have shown up on the bracket yet. I can't imagine them not coming, I mean you don't sign up Alfonso and play your matches and then just stay home do you?

    BTW I like Gonzales game but he is not outrageous ringer. Bui on the other hand is in much better shape for next weekend from what I saw.

    I like the Wild Dallas v. Dallas prediction for the 4.5 semi. Those two had a great match last weekend and I would like to see a rematch for the right to make it to the finals on Sunday. I think Royal Oaks might win out this time.

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  69. Captain Feb.,

    I hope to see your match against evil Springpark on Saturday afternoon. That should be a lucky time of day for you since last year you ended another Dallas team's run that was expected to do well.

    I hope for a good match between you all and hopefully it will be for the right to play bright and early on Sunday v. Austin.

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  70. To Cary Bazan no offense but neither Dallas nor Wild Dallas will be around come Sunday. Wild Dallas will run out of options because there singles players haven't been pushed like they ever have been before. As for Branch's Team they aren't going to Match up well with Ft.Worth and the young Team from Abilene. Dallas Teams are Strong on Paper but they will be Shredded up come Sectionals Time! Sorry just stating the FACTS.

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  71. Cary,

    I hope to see you out at LB Houston Saturday afternoon. Also, I hope the match against Springpark is meaningful, meaning we are still in contention for qualifying for Sunday. I'm not sure we have an answer for Gene and Mitch but hopefully some of my guys will step up and surprise me. Regardless, it should be a fun weekend.

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  72. Define what you mean by good on paper? The results Dallas has aren't bad. Do you have some inside scoop?

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  73. Cary - Blogger "Just the Facts" is right and has some really good points. Both Dallas teams are weak this year and lucky to even be in sectionals. After watching this past weekend, I thought that they should have given another wild card to Austin and given FW a wild - bc Dallas was pure Crap this season and did not deserve even one sectionals bid.

    Neither Dallas teams have any depth, they have fat/lazy doubles teams, and there singles players may be good looking and sexy, but don't have a lick of game and are just lucky to be on the team.

    Not that i want to give a scouting report vs Dallas - but if i was an opposing captain trying to get to Sunday - i would play your weaker lines vs both Dallas teams and save your stronger lines for the more dominant teams like FW, Abiline, Houston, Corpus, Valley, Austin, S.A etc - the teams with good depth and top level talent.

    Hopefully Dallas can get their act together and compete next year.

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  74. I had no idea the Dallas teams were that overrated. If that's the case Houston should role without any problems.
    Good Luck Guys!!

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  75. I don't believe it for a second. I think we'll see Dallas Branch playing on Sunday...but it wouldn't be the first time I've been wrong.

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  76. Good Chance that the Dallas Teams won't even be able to make the trip this year. 3 of the guys on one of the teams have planned vacations and one top player on the other team just got sent to prison. I heard that Wesley James has blisters and is questionable as well.

    Where is sectionals going to be played this year. Gas is a killer.

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  77. prison!?!?!? damn do we need to start packing when we head up there? gotta have my peeps ready to back me up.

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  78. Sent to prison? You sure you're not talking about the Mob Squad? Hahaha.

    Sectionals is in Dallas as always. I'll bite: who got sent to prison?

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  79. My bad, sorry.... mis-information. I just checked and it was a speeding ticket.

    also - i was talking about Wesley James' sisters, who are in town that weekend, not his blisters...i will be more dilligent with my blogging next time.

    I think he may be out though.

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  80. I would agree that Dallas Branch is overrated. This is basically the same Branch team that went 0-3 at last years sectionals and if James is out then even worse. They will have trouble getting out of that bracket. Fort Worth is the team if they can get by Austin Wild. What a tough bracket when Abilene is your number 3 with all their young guns.

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  81. they may be over-rated, but they had some close matches last year. every match was tight. those same guys are back every year and always fight.

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  82. I think the misinformation machine is in full swing! Dallas, Austin2 and FW will all be very tough with Abilene just trying to hold our own. I still think pool II is the toughest assuming everyone comes to play. In pool I there could be some good singles matches if noone gets DQed. It's going to be a fun weekend to watch.

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  83. nice use of facts.
    Branch was not part of the team last year so having him back down plus adding Jeremy Stone,and Williams makes them much tougher this year than the team from last year.
    no matter your opinion of Branch he wins matches when comes down to it at Sectionals.
    Do not let facts get in the way of your hate for Dallas and Branch.

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  84. Also add in Donnie Pollard and clint Sumrow to the Branch team who were not present last year. Quite a bit of Depth.

    BTW I now need to go shower after taking up for Branch. I just feel disgusting now.

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  85. Please don't ever even bring up you and shower in the same blog again - it gives us a creepy feel. it's odd enough that you know more than anyone in america about 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5 texas tennis and live in arkansas. (i dont care where you used to live)..we could all do without the shower comments from someone who lives in arkansas adn stays this involved in tx tennis.

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  86. How Would Branch's Team match up with the Ft Worth team. IMO Ft Worth has always been consistent in getting there Team to Sunday and I hear that they have added Depth With Henock Terefe and a couple other Additions. With Ft. Worth playing Dallas on Friday one of them would be out on Saturday which will definitely hurt.

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  87. The FTW/Dallas matchup will come down to the singles as the doubles will be close.
    Chan and Terefe against Branch and James will be tough matches.
    Double would be a toss-up but Branch has a few stronger players.
    Slezak/Williams/Pollard combos will be tough to beat.
    Predict 3-2 Branch

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  88. forgot about Huffman being in the mix so the singles will be a toss-up for sure. Big mystery will be if chan can make it down from WA state.

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  89. Hey Ar Hacker where would you predict the 2nd place team will come out of in the 4.5's. 1? 2? 3?

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  90. I initially said Pool 2, due to Valley, but now seeing that they "should" only have 8 eligible players and austin maybe without some top players. I am more now for Pool 3 due to FTW, Dallas, WC Austin all being somewhat similar, with Abilene there, but not quite as strong.
    Pool 1 could be close also with HOU being probably winner, but if CC loses Maingot, like they should, it could be close between WC Dallas and Corpus. There will need to be some 4-1 wins.
    Pool 2 will probably canibalize eachother as three of the teams are pretty equal, if you have to many 3-2 matches, then that hurts the 2nd place teams chances.

    On side note regarding Roland Ingram on the Valley, he appears to be a strong player judging by his 5.0 results in 2004, but it appears he will not be eligible to play Sectionals, due to no actual matches played. Could someone confirm or debunk my reasoning? If he is not eligible that hurts Valley in a major way.

    SF:
    Houston v. FTW
    NOHO v. Dallas

    Finals:
    HOU v. Dallas

    Toss-Up 3-2 to someone

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  91. New AR Hacker - you have become the Bud Collins of TX League Tennis. Thank you for "showering" us all with this good info.

    PS - Bud got fired. Neither Dallas team will be in the finals, much less semis. Abilene and the 'young guns' will dominate.

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  92. thank god I do this just for fun and not for acclaim.

    Good luck to everyone playing at Sectionals. It is a fun experience.

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  93. Been a while since I visited the BLOG, and it's great to see discussions about tennis and not personal attacks. Let's keep it up.

    Sure is a lot of information and misinformation being thrown around...

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  94. Can Bud Collins please shed some light on the 2 Austin Teams.

    And please be serios. No one is going to prison with blisters.

    Austin is always solid, but have heard little chatter about them.

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  95. Go to the Austin website. If you scroll down enough, they might even give you some links to youtube videos of their weekly matches.

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  96. You are right and that was funny. Good come back - i spit my water out laughing.

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  97. It's funny. I went to the austin blog website looking for info like the above people and they are having a happy hour at some place. If you want to get some good info crash the party and start talking to people.

    As a side note if the houston people decided to do that at least 5 fights would break out and half of houston tennis elites would end up in the clink.

    Houston is much more intense!!!!

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  98. if we had a happy hour in houston - everyone would have to come with a bag on our head that read anonymous.

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  99. LOL!!! As I fall on my ass laughing.

    And yes I was serious about them posting their tennis matches on youtube. I was reading their blog a couple weeks back and they had links to youtube on a couple of their doubles matches. Will see if i can locate it again and post the link this evening or tomorrow. The teams involved are not going to Sectionals if i recall (They are to busy waiting for their big movie break on youtube), but it was hilarious seeing all the make up and hair people on the side of the courts during changeovers.

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  100. Bud - come out come out, whereever you are. Does anyone have any real scoop on either of the Austin Teams. I don't need you tube of a bunch of weidos on their blog. (although i agree it is funny)

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  101. Austin v. Austin Wild in the finals. The youtubers will win the whole thing.

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  102. Valley Team is now in Bracket # 2. They might be good but they better hope that they can play with 8 all the way.

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  103. Freeman should have a cakewalk to Sunday unless the ringers from the Valley show up. Dallas team average age is over 55 and they have been hyping Mitch and Gene as a joke

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  104. Mitch and Gene WHO.

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  105. Mitch and Gene both played 5.0 a couple years ago I think

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  106. dallas is looking forward to all comers...

    Expect one of dallas teams to go to nationals. Each can go 4 deep in singles and 5 deep in doubles.

    With Branch not part of things no one wanted to win last year.

    Look back 2 years and same team minus morrison,peters,stone,pollard,williams

    Look at record vs. benzon in semi's and it came to 4 breakers with match points.

    Dallas is more than ready. Look back at results against hurlbert and armstrong. They were both handily beaten in singles and doubles.

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  107. I have to admit - that last caller made me blush with excitement and I do like the smak -down -straight talk. It's about time someone stood up and threw some clarity into this discussion. Getting bored with all of this sandbagging BS about blisters, sisters, and prison.

    I say Houston or FW. Both are stronger. If Dallas played in Houston, questionable whether they would be invited to sectionals.

    Smak That.

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  108. at least dallas represents the true commitment of the league. All players are late thirties to mid 50's except for 1.

    How they handle the heat will really be there true opponnent. If it is 100 degrees they may wilt in the later matches.

    It will be fun regardless of outcome. I know Dallas has been waiting all year for the event.

    I know FT worth will be tough as well. That may be the make or break match for both.

    I know Branch has been sandbagging a bit and is in great shape. When the chips are down he is as tough to beat as anyone. I get heat stroke just watching him play. Broach would have lost breaker 2 years ago to him had the match not been called because they had lost 3-1 already. If his match means something you can book it a win for branch.

    His match was not necessary against gonzalez as they had already locked it up 3-1 against royal oaks.

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  109. blisters, sisters and prison.....isn't that a bad country song I heard the other day. Go Spurs!

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  110. The country song i was thinking about was g.straits "if dallas was in tennessee" but change to "if dallas was in Houston"....

    Just scattershooting here but, Is it just me, but do i smell a Super Bowl in the air this year for the Cowboys......

    also - did Clint Sumrow move to Dallas -he used to play on a team out of Austin. Has anyone heard from him.

    Send him my # 1-Cow-boys-win

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  111. And another thing about Branch - since we are on the subject. He is also sandbagging about his weight.

    He looks like he weighs 210 lbs, but he really doesn't. He actually weighs 145 and can run all day. He just stuffs his shirt to make it look like he has a 40 year old beer belly just so he can sandbag at tennis..........

    What the hell ever - Branch ain't sand-bagging - Branch is overweight and subject to heat exhaustion each time he goes out on the court.

    Ask Cary Bartzen - Branch has the worst strokes in mens 4.5 tennis and plays like a chicken with his head cut off.

    Since we are on the subject - Branch would have lost to Broach, bc Broach decided to play when he needed to. Broach could have bagled Branch any time he wanted. Branch lost to Henry last week bc Henry was the better player at cities and wore Branch's Fat ass down.

    Next subject....
    Branch

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  112. Ok,if you guys really want the scoop on Austin, I'll provide it. The first place Austin team (Mike Davis' team) if strong in doubles, but they are missing their top three singles players (actually one got DQ'd, why no one seems to know). The Austin WC team (my team) has a couple of decent singles players, but no real doubles teams. If these teams could combine then they would have a tough team. As it is, Davis' team will struggle to get out on his pool, and we will be fortunate to play a couple of close matches. But, I really don't care, we weren't even supposed to be in Dallas so this is all gravy as far as I'm concerned.

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  113. If it is indeed time for Dallas Branch's team to go to Nationals then they will have beaten some tough teams in the process and they will have earned there way to Nationals. In there pool alone they will have to Beat a Strong Ft.Worth team and a solid Abilene Team geared with some strong young players. IMO Branch is overrated but to many is a total stud if the match is on the line. If he is so Good and Nails under pressure why then did he get so dominated in the 5.0 League in 2007. IMO he dumped matches along with his team to set up for this year. He is just as Guilty as any other League team competing next weekend of doing whatever it takes to make it to Nationals. I'm expecting his Team to be SOLID this year but when its all said and done they only take 1 team to Nationals and I guarantee u Branch is not NATIONALS material.

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  114. No doubt Branch tanked his matches, so yes he is not different that the San Antonio guys and Red, but why should he be held to a higher standard ? it takes cheating to beat cheating, doesn't it ?

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  115. Wow you mean captains cheat and sandbag!!!!
    Holy smokes I just do not know what to say about that!!!

    Branch did sandbag in 5.0 so he could get back down to 4.5, that is fairly obvious, at least he did not name his 5.0 team "Branch Four Five" like another unnamed moron in another section.

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  116. The question is will the San Antonio Cheaters get away with Cambon and Strand and Vasquez and the rest of them TANKING there way down to 4.5 for next year?

    Will Tosha and Sue Johnston have the balls to keep them at 5.0 when everyone in the Country knows they are cheating?

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  117. well Cambon and Vasquez got their 4.5 ESR, but Strand just can not tank fast enough. I have not seen anyone's level of play fall so fast outside of Coria. You go from playing Big 10 Tennis to 4.5 in a span of 2 years, I would be embarassed to even show my face on the courts.

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  118. Just for grins AR Hacker have you ever been to Texas Sectionals? Nationals? You seem to know alot about Texas Section which makes good reading for this blog. Can Texas compete with AR Tennis?

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  119. I went to Sectionals in 98 while on Tom Smith's 4.5 team we lost to Amarillo in the finals. Snuck through pool play defeating Austin WC, HOU, NETX, then Austin in the SF, lost 4-1 to Amarillo (Mike Kelly, Marty Feldman in singles, lost 3 TB in the team match.
    Went back to Sectionals with Conway's Team but did not play when they fell to CC in pool play, circa 03.

    As for Arkansas Tennis, I think Houston and Dallas would beat the teams here. We have one powerhosue team that always goes to Sectionals and they seem to always be the bridesmaid. Following them this year. Lots of players but the level is not quite as high as Texas in overall depth, plus they limit us to 16 players on a team.

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  120. I was on that '98 Houston team that lost to y'all. I lost to Marty Feldman in 3rd set breaker after bageling him in second. Kelly and Paolo Yoshiuri had a feisty match that day. I think Nikki Lieu may have been visually DQ'd in that match as well? Sorry I never got to meet you, but I still keep in touch with Tom Smith in Virginia.

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  121. yeah I had to laugh after the Houston match because everyone was complaining about Brad Sweeney, then your doubles player was DQ'ed at #3D after destroying Terry/Elton.
    The visual verifiers were funny because they stuck out like a sore thumb. I played Juan DeKruyff in singles and the level of play dropped off greatly once we saw the blue-shirts walking by with their clipboards.

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  122. Ar Hacker- what is your real name? Do you do anything but study league tennis?

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