Outlaws junior Paul Fullhart was the lone member of the boy's tennis team to make it to the state championships held at the University of Oregon Thursday through Saturday, May 17-19. In his second state appearance, Paul made it to the quarterfinals.
Fullhart started tournament play with a bye in the first round of 32. He dominated play in the second round and beat Valentin Morales of Ontario 6-1, 6-0. Fullhart fell to Luis Drexler of Estacada (fourth seed) 6-2, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
Coach Bim Gander told The Nugget that Fullhart made remarkable progress over the course of the season.
"After competing at the state 4A championship, there is no question that his game ranks among the top 10 players in the state in 4A competition," said Gander. "Most improved are his serve and the pace and consistency of his ground strokes.
"From the base line, Paul can trade shots with the best of them," added Gander. "The only advantages the very best players in the state have are that they have truly superior footwork and/or an all-court game with an ability to hit good volleys and overheads. Paul will undoubtedly continue to improve in these areas as well as those parts of his game that are quite proficient already."
At the close of the tourney, Oregon Episcopal claimed top honors as the tournament champions with a team score of 22. Catlin Gable took second (14 points), LaSalle Prep was third (seven points) and North Bend finished fourth (six points).
The Outlaws will return all their players to their squad next year except for Sol Ling-Scott, who will graduate. Ling-Scott played tennis for the first time this year and turned in a remarkable record of 6-2 with partner Trevor Standent at No. 1 doubles.
Gander noted that Devon Calvin, Evan Rickards and Ryan Houston all gained valuable experience as singles players and hope they all have an opportunity to qualify for state next year. This year all three of them advanced to the quarterfinals at districts.