Chavez and Baumler represent Beavers at KingCo Tournament
Hard work paid off for two Ballard Beaver boys' tennis players this season as they earned the right to play in the KingCo 4A Tournament at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.
The Beavers number one singles player, Mitchell Chavez started the tournament in the second round, beating Rodrigo Banderia of Eastlake 6-0 and 6-2. Chavez then lost to James Russell of Juanita. No score was reported.
Kevin Baulmer, Ballard's number two player was matched up with Tom Plunkett of Garfield in the first round. Baumler lost the match 6-3 and 7-6.
Avi Allison of Garfield won the tournament championship by defeating Jeremy Supinski of Woodinville.
Chavez finishes his four-year career as a Beaver on a strong note.
During the practices leading up to the tournament, Ballard Beavers boys Head Coach Brad Hamilton expressed confidence in his top seed.
"Mitchell is doing real well. He is competing and doing a good job. He has matured his game and it has been great to witness it," Hamilton said.
Hamilton said Chavez is one of the top five players in KingCo.
Chavez has beaten Eastlake's Jacob Ohrman 6-4, 6-4; Roosevelt's Stephen Perkins 7-5, 6-0; and Alex Della of Bothell 6-0, 6-2 in the later stages of the season to make the tournament bracket.
With Chavez graduating, Baumler and Alex Mathers will contend for Ballard's top singles position next season.
"They will fight for number one, those two guys," said Hamilton.
Baumler plays many different sports. "He is doing excellent for a guy who is not a year round player," said Hamilton. The coach points out that Baumler is ready to commit more time to tennis during the off season.
Mathers has worked on his game during the summer and Hamilton says there is tremendous growth in his game.
Hamilton describes Mathers as a technical and strategic player with an overall improving game. "He's a fighter and is big time on my list," Hamilton said.
Nick Rice was promoted from the junior varsity and should do well next season.
"He is doing a great job this year. He plays year round, as much as he can. He plays in tournaments in the off season," said Hamilton.
Mathers has matured as a tennis player. " It has been nice to help him through some hurdles that every varsity player has to confront," said Hamilton.
Dion Diblasi also came up from junior varsity and Hamilton feels he is another bright spot for Ballard.
As a club professional at the Forest Crest Tennis Club, Hamilton has been bringing his tennis program to the Ballard courts during the summer.
"It has been a tremendous success. I have gotten a lot of feedback from parents," he said.
Despite losing nine seniors, this year's team has worked together.
"It's a young team. These guys are real tight. We sit down and talk about our experiences on the court," said Hamilton.
His best memory when the tennis season finally ended was seeing how well the team as gelled.
Dean Wong may be reached at 783.1244 or email@example.com