Boys tennis: Marian Catholic’s Julian Childers aims for the topJulian Childers, of Marian Catholic, returns a shot against Homewood-Flossmoor's Brad Holt for the Marian Catholic Sectional Singles Championship, Saturday, May 19th, 2012 in Chicago Heights, IL. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Boys State Tennis
When: Thursday through Saturday
Where: Hersey High School is the host site
Schedule: Thursday: First, second and third 3rd championship rounds; first, second and third rounds of consolation feed-in.
Friday: Fourth and quarterfinal rounds championship rounds; fourth, fifth sixth and seventh rounds of consolation feed-in.
Saturday: Semifinals and championship matches; quarterfinal, semifinal and championship in consolation bracket.
3-4 seed: Julian Childers, Marian Catholic.
17-32 seed: Brad Holt, Homewood-Flossmoor, Eric Pontow, Sandburg.
Unseeded: Matt Bisbee, Marist; James Habisohn, Brother Rice; Kevin Karczynski, Andrew; Nick Urban, Lemont; Lucas Randall, Lockport; Tim Stewart, Stagg; Steve Hill, Lincoln-Way North; James Zeeman, Providence; Brendon Wolan, Stagg; Len Madoch, Lincoln-Way Central; Brian Moy, Andrew.
17-32 seed: Mitch Zavesky and Kyle Scheffers, Marian Catholic.
Unseeded: Adam Griesbach and Jeremy Miller, Homewood-Flossmoor; Ryan Champlin and Justin Weigal, Lincoln-Way Central; Jason Klaer and Rami Araibi, Oak Lawn; Josh Pinkus and Liam Kroning, Marian Catholic; Ty Scaletta and Dan Cesario, Lincoln-Way East; Jonathan Pacheco and Alex Vasic, Lemont; Brad Smith and Cody Johnson, Sandburg; Jacob Miguest and Daryl Sullivan, Homewood-Flossmoor; Jack King and Eddie Kennedy, Marist; Tom Emola and Steve Adamitus, Lincoln-Way East; Mike Flowers and Mike Carlo, Sandburg; Suvrat Chandra and Nik Ranieri, Morgan Park Academy.
Updated: May 23, 2012 8:24PM
Closing out his high school career with a fourth straight appearance at the Boys State Tennis Tournament, Marian Catholic’s Julian Childers has his goals set as high as they can go.
For Childers, it’s state title or bust.
“I want to win state, and that’s all,” Childers said. “I don’t want second place or semifinals. No one in that tournament is a better player than me, and I’m 100 percent sure of that. If I play well and mentally stay calm, I know I can win the tournament.”
Childers earned a 3-4 seed at the state championships, which run Thursday through Saturday. Matches will be at 12 high schools sites in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. Semifinal and championship matches will be hosted Saturday at Hersey in Arlington Heights.
Unseeded as a freshman, Childers has climbed the ladder over the past three years. He was a 9-16 seed as both as a sophomore and junior, winning a combined 14 matches over three years at state.
The senior opens play against Morton’s Calen Crim at Hoffman Estates. No boys Southland tennis player ever has won state.
A strong effort from Childers will play a huge role in Marian’s team success, with the Spartans gunning for a Top-five finish. He won’t be alone, though, as two Marian doubles teams, Mitch Zavesky and Kyle Scheffers Josh Pinkus and Liam Kroning, also qualified.
Zavesky also is a three-time state qualifier, winning three matches in 2011 at state with Scheffers. The duo earned a 17-32 seed.
“We want top five as a team,” Childers said. “With me, Mitch and Kyle, Josh and Liam putting some points on the board, we can do it no problem. We’re one of the best teams in the state.”
The senior-heavy Spartans will be aided by experience, but coach Scott Bodnar remains confident in his team’s ability to stay calm.
“Doubles is very experienced, and they know where they finished so they’re going to be stronger,” Bodnar said. “They expect to go further. (The team) is very strong tennis-minded.”
The remaining local seeded players in singles or doubles are Sandburg’s Eric Pontow and Homewood-Flossmoor’s Brad Holt, both at 17-32 in the singles draw.
Pontow, a junior, looks to take a step forward after two straight state appearances. He advanced to the sixth consolation round (winning a combined nine matches) both seasons.
“I didn’t improve between freshman and sophomore year so I’d like to place a little bit higher,” Pontow said. “It’s great motivation. My offseason was geared to doing as well as I can at state.”
Similarly, Holt, a three-time state qualifier, is similarly looking to close on top. Over three appearances, he’s won eight matches. Holt will continue his tennis career at Western Michigan.
“The experience just makes it a lot easier, and I want to try and go all the way,” Holt said. “I know where I’m going (for school,) so I can just go out there and play.”