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Youth-laden Hawks strive for improvement this spring
Lepe and Polanes
Omar Lepe and Lourdvic Polanes will contribute at No. 1 and 2 singles, respectively, on Central Valley’s varsity boys tennis team this spring. - photo by Dale Butler

Central Valley’s varsity boys tennis program just missed securing a playoff berth last year.

Coach Mike Rodriguez wouldn’t make any predictions for this season.

“I’m not entertaining that possibility right now,” he said. “We lost our top three singles players to graduation. It’s going to be a learning year. The goal is to improve each match and see what happens. We have a chance to be good.”

The Hawks return 11 players from last year’s team, including Omar Lepe (So.), Lourdvic Polanes (So.), Andy Souksavath (Sr.), Alexsander Kishore (Jr.), Willy Souksavath (So.), Belisario Ramirez (Jr.), Aiden Sinlapaxay (So.), Aaron Madrigal (So.), Gurtej Sangha (Jr.), Jose Alvarez (So.) and Joaquin Pulido (So.).

The Hawks’ top newcomers are Jesus Hernandez (Fr.) and Braulio Arellano (Fr.).

Lepe, Polanes, Kishore, Ramirez, Andy Souksavath and Willy Souksavath will contribute at singles.

Sinlapaxay, Madrigal, Sangha, Alvarez, Pulido, Hernandez and Arellano will log playing time at doubles.

“I don’t remember the last time we were this young. I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible and get them to learn the basics.”
Coach Mike Rodriguez

“I don’t remember the last time we were this young,” said Rodriguez, whose roster features nine underclassmen. “I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible and get them to learn the basics.  If you’re not as skilled as your opponent, you can be in attack mode and try to shorten the points.”

Third-place Patterson (10-4) edged out fourth-place Central Valley (8-6) for the CCC’s final postseason berth last season.

The Hawks missed the playoffs for the fourth year in a row.

“It looks like El Capitan might be one of the stronger teams,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t know what the other teams have coming back. We’re going to try to get some wins. We want to be competitive again.”