CEDAR RAPIDS - This time, Iowa City West was the best.
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Here are The Gazette-area teams and players to watch during the 2017 boys’ tennis season.
Teams to watch:
Cedar Rapids Washington — The second-ranked Warriors return five of their top-six players from a 14-2 team that placed third at the 2A team state tournament. Sophomores Rami Scheetz and Ty Sherman formed a formidable doubles tandem for Coach Rusty Graff last season, and will jockey with senior Parker Muller for positions in the top-half of the lineup.
Linn-Mar — Coach Chris Wundram believes the fifth-ranked Lions have eight or nine players that can win varsity matches. Junior Jack Gertsen returns from injury and talented freshmen Luke VanDonslear and Jackson Eells will boost a roster that returns four of last year’s top-six players, led by juniors Ben Hediger and Lucas Huffman.
Iowa City West — Coach Mitch Gross and the Trojans – winners of 88 of their last 90 duals – enter the season ranked No. 1 in 2A and have won four of the last five 2A team state titles and six of 12. Senior Jiung Jung is a two-time defending singles state champion, while senior Cole Schneider and sophomore Jack Wenzel placed second last year at state doubles.
Players to watch:
Rami Hemaidan, jr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy — Two-time first team all-MVC and Class 2A singles state qualifier, including a sixth-place finish in 2015.
Ben Hediger, jr., Linn-Mar — Placed sixth in 2A state doubles last season.
Joe Hoff, sr., Iowa City High — 2A state singles runner-up last season, 2A state doubles quarterfinalist in 2015. 2016 MVC Mississippi Athlete of the Year, three-time first team all-MVC. Creighton signee.
Lucas Huffman, jr., Linn-Mar — Placed sixth in 2A state doubles last season, was sixth in lineup for 2015 state championship team.
Jiung Jung, sr., Iowa City West — Two-time defending 2A singles state champion, fourth in 2014. Three-time first team all-MVC and two-time MVC Valley Athlete of the Year.
Jon Lansing, jr., Cedar Rapids Xavier — First-team all-MVC last season, Class 1A doubles state qualifier in 2015.
Parker Muller, sr., Cedar Rapids Washington — Two-time 2A singles state qualifier, two-time first team all-MVC.
Rami Scheetz, so., Cedar Rapids Washington — Placed seventh in 2A state singles last season as a freshman.
Cole Schneider, sr., Iowa City West — First-team all-MVC and 2A doubles state runner-up last season, eighth in 2015. Luther commit.
Ty Sherman, so., Cedar Rapids Washington — Part of a highly-competitive preseason competition atop the Warriors lineup after an excellent freshman season that ended with a third-place team finish at state.
Luke VanDonslear, fr., Linn-Mar — Highly-regarded freshman who is expected to occupy any of the top-three positions in the Linn-Mar lineup.
Jack Wenzel, so., Iowa City West — 2A doubles state runner-up last season.
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