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Henry Curley, photo courtesy YHS

CIF-Central Championship For Yosemite Boys Varsity Tennis

Tyler Hellwig, photo courtesy Yosemite High School

OAKHURST — Coached by a recent district graduate, and for the second year in a row, the Yosemite High School boys tennis team has completed an amazing run. On Tuesday, May 7, they beat Mt. Whitney of Visalia in the CIF Central Section D-III Boys Tennis Championship held at Yosemite High, according to school athletic director Rusty Oetinger.

“By winning yesterday the boys completed back-to-back Section Championships and have won an astounding 39 straight matches without a loss,” Oetinger enthuses, adding that the team finished the season in dominate fashion by winning five out of the six singles matches.

“Last year in winning their first championship, they beat Lemoore High at Lemoore in a nine match nail biter that came down to a tie breaker won by the Stewart brothers. This year the team played so well that they didn’t play a single doubles match during any of the playoff matches.”

The AD points out that the team was led by seniors Madi Yamaguchi, Tyler Hellwig and Henry Curley.

“All three boys dominated their opponents. Between the three matches, they only allowed three games to be won.

“Sophomore Colby Stewart continued his winning ways by winning his match in straight sets. Logan Cacy sealed the championship by battling back from a game down in the final set to win 7 -5. Kai Hansen had a tough match with his opponent and ended up with a loss but, at that point, his team had already won the championship. Despite the loss, he was ecstatic.”

The doubles players unfortunately did not get a chance to show their talents on the court, notes Oetinger, but he says Trenton Ford, Ethan Conti and Kadin Mellon supported their team by being line judges during a couple of the closer matches.

As the season comes to a close, the athletes and their mentors are already looking forward to next year.

“We are losing six seniors but have a great group of young players coming along,” Oetinger says. “With the excellent coaching of Steven Standefer, this group has really gone a long way toward building a rich tradition for YHS tennis.”

Steven Standefer and Rusty Oetinger with the 2018 plaque, courtesy Mary Beth Harrison

Reportedly the youngest coach YHS has ever had, Standefer is a 2018 graduate of Evergreen High School in the Yosemite Unified School District. Evergreen’s Mary Beth Harrison reports that Standefer was the number one player on the Badgers tennis team through his junior year, and then helped coach the girls team. He loved the job so much, and the department was so impressed, that Standefer was hired for the position with the boys tennis team in his senior year as a student in the district. Standefer also took the boys varsity tennis team to championship last year.

Congratulations, one and all!

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