Boys Tennis: Jeremy Dixon, Oak Park-River Forest prep for Pitchford Invitational
Updated: April 24, 2012 6:07PM
Oak Park-River Forest tennis player Jeremy Dixon hopes his experience in Hersey’s Pitchford Invitational will be much different than last time around.
Dixon, a doubles player in 2012, finished third at No. 2 singles last year in one of the biggest meets of the regular season. The Pitchford invite features many of the top teams in the state, including New Trier, Deerfield, Hinsdale Central, Glenbrook North and Lake Forest. Last year’s tournament also included downstate teams such as Edwardsville and Belleville West.
The two-day Pitchford Invitational begins at 3 p.m. Friday.
“With Pitchford, you know the best teams in the state will play there,” said Dixon, a junior. “I know we’ll do our best.”
Dixon and his fellow Huskies (37 points) finished fourth behind co-champions New Trier and Hinsdale Central, and third-place Deerfield at Hinsdale Central’s Kramer Invitational on Saturday.
Dixon and partner Tim McAdam finished seventh after posting a 6-3, 6-2 victory over New Trier’s David Laser and Arthur Ozga. Dixon and McAdam lost in the quarterfinals to the eventual runner-up duo of New Trier’s Alex Galoustian and Alex Mang.
Dixon and McAdam suffered two losses during the invite — merely their fourth and fifth defeats this year.
“We’re doing pretty well. This is the first year we’re playing together,” Dixon said. “I knew we can’t expect to dominate. We have certainly worked hard.”
Dixon went to State last season as a singles player. His new partner, McAdam, also competed at State, in doubles.
The pair started practicing together during offseason practice, which eventually led to a doubles pairing.
“Tim makes it easier,” Dixon said. “He’s used to it.”
OPRF’s doubles team of D.J. Arends and Mitch Rasley placed 10th at Hinsdale Central after being defeated by Highland Park’s Tom Haile and Andrew Zessar 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (7-5), 10-4.
Luke Trinka, OPRF’s No. 1 singles player, finished sixth after losing to New Trier’s Aron Hiltzik, who won 6-2, 4-6, 10-6. The Huskies’ No. 2 singles player, junior Graham Lehman, finished ninth after beating Deerfield’s Jeremy Jacobson, 6-0, 6-0.
Lehman is making the adjustment from doubles to singles. His former partner was Rasley.
“So far, it’s been a challenge, but I feel I’m getting better,” Lehman said.
Lehman knows that the Pitchford invite can be demanding, with the possibility of playing four matches in a day or five matches in two days.
“It’s a lot more physically demanding,” Lehman said.