116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Luca Chackalackal has an air of confidence surrounding him.
The Iowa City West senior has had a perfect season, not losing a match in singles or doubles as the No. 1 player for the state's top-ranked Class 2A team.
Despite his lofty credentials, Chackalackal was not one of the top four seeds when the state singles bracket was released Sunday night by the Iowa High School Athletic Association for the meet, which begins at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in Cedar Rapids at the Veterans Memorial Tennis Complex.
Defending champion Daniel Lu of West Des Moines Dowling got the top seed. Kayden Taylor of Waukee Northwest, who combined with Quinn Monson to defeat Chackalackal and Mukundan Kasturirangan in the 2A doubles final last year, is seeded second.
With the opening of Waukee Northwest this year, Monson remained at Waukee and is seeded fourth, just behind Pleasant Valley's Jake Dolphin.
Chackalackal knew the depth of the field before the seeds were released.
“I'm feeling really good right now,” he said. “I don't want to talk big because there is a lot of good competition in that tournament. I will say that I am playing the best tennis I have ever played.
“If I go out and play my game, I can give anyone in the state a run for their money.”
Chackalackal opens play against Marshalltown's Kevin Strand. A win there would likely set up a meeting with Dolphin in the quarterfinals.
West Coach Marshal Moellers is confident Chackalackal — along with freshman Seth Smigel in singles and the doubles team of Jayden Shin and Samir Singh — can have a big meet. Shin and Singh are seeded No. 2 behind Brady Adams and Nathan Barlow of Pleasant Valley.
“I think if they all play their best, it will be hard to beat them,” he said. “If they are playing their best, I feel very confident in them.”
Chackalackal echoed his coach's sentiments.
“We've had a great season so far, and we just want to keep it going,” he said.
Another team in the midst of a great season is Cedar Rapids Xavier. The Saints are well-represented in the Class 1A tournament, set for Byrnes Park in Waterloo.
Senior Brady Horstmann, who combined with Matthew Schmit to win the doubles title in 2021, has been awarded the No. 1 seed in singles this year. He will be joined by teammate Quincey Johnson in the singles draw.
Decorah's Caden Branum was given the No. 3 seed. Viking teammate Daniel Skrade also is in the draw.
In doubles, the only Gazette-area entry is the Xavier duo of Declan Coe and Hugh Courter. They are the top seed.
Iowa high school boys’ state tennnis tournament
When: Tuesday-Wednesday (Play begins both days at 9:30 a.m.)
Where: Class 2A: Veterans Memorial Tennis Center (Rain site: Hawkeye Recreation and Tennis Complex). Class 1A: Byrnes Park, Waterloo (Rain site: Black Hawk Tennis Club, Waterloo)
Tickets: $10 per day (Digital purchase only)
CLASS 2A SEEDS
Singles: 1. Daniel Lu, West Des Moines Dowling, 2. Kaden Taylor, Waukee Northwest, 3. Jake Dolphin, Pleasant Valley, 4. Quinn Monson, Waukee.
Doubles: 1. Brady Adams/Nathan Barlow, Pleasant Valley, 2. Jayden Shin/Samir Singh, Iowa City West, 3. Malcolm Rice/ Brock Hanna, Linn-Mar, 4. Cam Johnson/Vyas Amalkar West Des Moines Valley.
OTHER GAZETTE-AREA QUALIFIERS
Singles: Ayush Kalia, Linn-Mar, Parker Sprague, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Seth Smigel, Iowa City West, Luca Chachalackal, Iowa City West.
Doubles: Jake Wallrichs/Zach Mersch, Linn-Mar, Caleb Suiter/Jacob Strain, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Logan Miller/Logan Augustine, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Anthony Schulte/JT McCrea, Cedar Rapids Prairie.
CLASS 1A SEEDS
Singles: 1. Brady Horstmann, Cedar Rapids Xavier, 2. Ethan Moon, North Polk, 3. Caden Branum, Decorah, 4. Jack Freiburger, Dubuque Wahlert
Doubles: 1. Declan Coe/Hugh Courter, Cedar Rapids Xavier, 2. Caleb Briggs/Jack Briggs, Pella, 3. Cody Overland/Matt Zimmerman, Boone, 4. Colin Reis/Harrison Dahm Denison-Schleswig.
OTHER GAZETTE-AREA QUALIFIERS
Singles: Daniel Skrade, Decorah, Quincey Johnson, Cedar Rapids Xavie.