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NOTEBOOK / Ray Ripton : Unihi Netters Win City Title--Next Year Looks Better

June 16, 1988|RAY RIPTON

Coach Tom Anderson and his University High School boys tennis team won their first Los Angeles City championship in 1978 and their second last week, capturing the 4-A City title by defeating El Camino Real, 18 1/2-11, in the final.

But Anderson doesn't think that University will have to wait another 10 years before winning another City championship.

"Things look really good for next year," Anderson said. "If we don't repeat, I would be surprised. We have more talent than (other teams), and we have everybody coming back."

Not everybody. He was exaggerating a bit. Three seniors will not be back, including the top doubles team of William Brown-Eric Schwab and doubles player Jeremy Mayer.

But he does have plenty of talent returning, including brothers Jason and Eric Clark and junior Vince Mackey. Jason Clark, a sophomore, defeated Mackey, University's No. 1 singles player, for the boys individual singles championship last week. Eric Clark, a junior, and doubles partner Jeff Schiamberg, another underclassman, won all three of their sets against El Camino Real in the final.

Other underclassmen from this year's champions are singles players Jon Kelly and Jeff Hoefflin and Peter Bazil, Mayer's doubles partner.

In the 1978 team final, the Warriors overcame Palisades, the perennial City titlist, which has dominated the 4-A championships for more than 25 years. Anderson said that beating Palisades for the first time in the final was "a big upset.

"This year we were undefeated (19-0) the whole year, were favored to beat Palisades and won twice against them. In 1978, Palisades beat us twice. They had Scott Davis, John Davis (not related) and a lot of players. I thought it was their best team, and we over-achieved that day by a long shot." The Davises went on to play college tennis, Scott at Stanford and John at UCLA, and both later joined the professional tour.

Anderson said there is a big difference between his 1978 team and this year's champions. He said that Jason Clark, for example, is probably as good at basketball as tennis and that Mackey and others are also good all-around athletes.

He added that he tried to talk Jason into playing doubles as well as singles because he is "probably the best doubles player in the city. But he thought he could win the individual singles championship." He was right about that.

Anderson said his players this year are "athletes who are tennis players. A few years ago I had tennis players who weren't very good athletes. These kids are strong, quick and tough."

William Brown, the Clark brothers and Mackey are also blacks who lived outside the University attendance area and came to the school under a City busing program.

Anderson said he thinks that having good athletes and tennis players is only part of the formula for winning championships.

"If you have talent and work hard, I guess it produces City championships. We were working hard."

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