By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Enid will be the center of the high school golf and tennis universe today as both EHS programs will be hosting tournaments.
Enid’s girls will be hoping the fourth time is the charm today when the Acers and Plainsmen host a star-studded invitational tennis tournament at Oakwood Country Club (girls) and Crosslin Park (boys).
Top-ranked Jenks has finished ahead of EHS in hree previous head-to-head tournament meetings, including Friday’s Tournament of Champions at Heritage Hall.
Defending state champion Edmond North is another serious contender. Edmond Memorial, Broken Arrow, Ponca City, Duncan and Shawnee complete the eight-team field.
“If things go right, we can upset Jenks and hold off Edmond North,’’ said Enid coach Darrell Herndon, “but at the same time, we could slip up and drop down a couple of notches. On any given day, any of the top three teams could win it.’’
Jenks won the girls title last year with Edmond North second and Enid third.
The Acers will go with their usual lineup of Alexis Blasi (9-10), No. 1 singles; Gabrielle Dick (15-4), No. 2 singles; Alexandra Dick and Kathryn Dillingham (16-2), No. 1 doubles; and Madison Blevins and Savannah Blasi (11-3), No. 2 doubles. Blevins has been battling some shoulder problems.
A year ago, Jenks took its regular lineup to Enid. Edmond North has used several combinations this season.
“Both of those teams No. 7 and No. 8 players are in their rotations,’’ Herndon said. “You don’t know who they are going to play until they get here.’’
The Plainsmen will reveal a totally different lineup.
EHS will be putting their strength in double with No. 1 singles player Zach Gwin moving to No. 1 doubles with Connor Angleton. Jason Christopherson moves from No. 2 singles to No. 2 doubles with Blake Young.
The old No. 2 doubles team of Koderick Miller and Tyler Hallett will be playing No. 1 and No. 2 singles.
“We wanted to make sure we get at least one division to qualify for state,’’ Herndon said. “The way things were going (with the old lineup), no one had any significant wins over anybody. By putting our top four players in doubles, we might have a chance to finish third or fourth at the regionals.’’
He said Miller and Hallett will be making some sacrifices by going to singles.
“Everybody has a role to play,’’ Herndon said. “If we can get somebody to state, we’ll take everybody as an reward.’’
Christopherson has missed the last two tournaments with shoulder problems. Herndon said Christopherson will have to serve underhand but should be OK with his other strokes.
The seeding meeting will be at 8 a.m., beginning with the girls. Herndon hopes to have the tournament completed by 6 p.m. There is a 30 percent chance of rain. Temperatures are expected to be in the 40s.
Herndon said the biggest advantage of being at home is not having to leave at 5 a.m.
“We always have pretty good parental support at our tournaments,’’ Herndon said, “so it shouldn’t be that much different tomorrow for us.’’
Lee: Boys golf field tough
Enid’s boys will be relying on the home course advantage when they host their annual invitational tournament at Meadowlake (morning) and Oakwood Country Club (afternoon).
“We’re obviously familiar with both courses,’’ said Enid coach David Lee, “but there’s some awfully tough teams here.’’
Defending state champion Edmond North will send a team, but Lee said he doesn’t know if it will be the Husky varsity.
Edmond Santa Fe, the defending champion, will have both a varsity and JV. Max McGreevy of the Wolves is back to defend his individual title.
Rounding out the field are Stillwater, Ponca City, two Bixby teams, Norman North, Mustang, Heritage Hall and McGuinness. Enid will field two JV teams as well as its usual varsity lineup of Colton Jackson, Mason North, Stephen Nicholas, Chris Hayes and Lucas Dillingham.
It will be Enid’s first 36-hole tournament of the season, which will be both a mental and physical challenge, Lee said.
“I’m anxious to see how we do,’’ he said. “It’s going to be a grind-it-out day. I’m more concerned about us staying at a high level mentally for 36 holes than the physical part.’’
The Plainsmen will benefit from not having to get up as earlier as the rest of the field. The players tee off at Meadowlake at 8 a.m., with warmups starting at 7.
What makes the tournament unique is it’s being played on two different venues. Players will be fed at Oakwood following the morning round.
EHS was second a year ago with a 631, 19 shots behind Santa Fe. Jackson was third a year ago with a 153 (77 at Meadowlake and 76 at Oakwood).
“Colton, Stephen and Mason have all shown signs of playing pretty good golf,’’ Lee said. “It wouldn’t be a stretch to say they could contend (for individual honors).’’
Lee said the tournament will be a good experience for his JV teams.
“Hopefully, we can get it in,’’ Lee said.
The Pacers will host a girls tournament Thursday at Meadowlake.