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CHS tennis continues to dominate league

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

Claremont High School tennis continues to dominate the Palomares League with dual team championships that were cemented last week, and on Wednesday the girls added trophies in both singles and doubles during the individual league championships at CHS.

Like all high school sports, this is the season that might have never happened, which was particularly hard because the girls came oh so close to winning a CIF title last year.

The biggest change—and the biggest challenge—has been combining both the boys and girls seasons into one with tandem dual meets all season.

“We had to change up the format of our league matches because we wanted to play both the boys and the girls in the same day which worked great,” Coach Kathy Settles said. “We have looked at things a little differently this year and had to definitely be open minded.”

Part of that meant being very flexible in scheduling and being ready to change the plan at a moment’s notice. That included the Palomares League championships, which were still on hold as of last week.

“We applied with the county to run this tournament which involved more that two teams” Coach Settles said. “Literally on Thursday we got approval and so shifted gears and got our tournament which started Monday.”

Because tennis is played outdoors and is naturally socially distanced, the teams have been practicing for much of the school year. This has also given the team and Coach Settles a chance to see the campus come back to life.

“For so long this parking lot has been empty, absolutely a ghost town, and little by little it has started to fill up with cars in the afternoon now that school is back in session and all the sports were happening,” she said. “It was so exciting to see so many parents here and school busses and teams it was awesome.”

On Wednesday senior Goldie La won her fourth straight league singles title, defeating her sister sophomore Sydney La 6-2, 6-1.

It was a rather anticlimactic win for Goldie but it was a momentous occasion because she has now officially not lost a single league match in four years of competition.

“I think she will go down as the best player in Claremont High history, Coach Settles said. “She has played all four years and reached the quarter finals in CIF and basically gone deep into that tournament starting when she was a freshman. She will be sorely missed next year but what an honor for me to be able to coach her for the last four years.”

Goldie will be playing tennis at Chapman University next year, which means she will be no stranger in Claremont as she will compete against the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas.

CHS also netted the doubles championship Wednesday when seniors Jahday Drewery and Caren Uribe defeated Alta Loma’s Sydney O’Neill and Aubrie Butler, 6-0, 3-6, 6-1.

Goldie La, Drewery and Uribe have been competing together for all four years of their high school experience, which creates a special bond according to Coach Settles.

I’ve gone through this journey with these three girls that have been on the team since they were freshmen. That whole experience last year getting to the finals and being so close to winning, so it was kind of an emotional senior day [last week.] I am going to really miss them and I think they are going to miss being part of the program. For these kids it’s a family and when you go through something with people it brings you so close. It’s been such a great ride for these three, so I am so thrilled that was not taken away.”

The CHS boys team got their shot at the league championship with prelims on Thursday continuing with the finals today at Claremont High. The Pack should do well with both the number one singles seed Brody Bohren and doubles Caleb Settles and Joey Anagnos competing.

“It going to be really good tennis because the boys league is a lot deeper than the girls,” Coach Settles said

The team competition begins next week with the draws announced on Monday. Claremont will host on Wednesday because the team is the number one seed.

Since the Pack went to the finals in Division 2 last year, they were bumped up to Division 1 this year so it’s going to be a tough tournament with a lot of good teams.

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