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Davis Likes to Perform Off-Screen

May 06, 2000|LAUREN PETERSON

There's no business like show business?

Not for Alex Davis, despite his family background.

Davis, a junior at Montclair Prep, is a grandson of former 20th Century Fox Film Corp. owner Marvin Davis, a multibillionaire financier who was among the original developers of Fox Plaza in Century City.

Alex Davis' uncle, John Davis, is a movie producer and his younger brother, Montclair Prep freshman Jason Davis, is the voice of "Mikey" in the Disney Channel cartoon "Recess."

But Alex Davis performs solely on tennis courts and golf courses. He is the No. 1 player on the Montclair Prep boys' tennis and golf teams and his focus has always been on sports, not show business.

"Sports has always been No. 1 for me," he said. "I don't like the entertainment business. I like real business, not show business."

Davis is more likely to go into investment banking or accounting than performing arts. But that won't happen until after he chases his dream of playing tennis for Stanford.

Davis, 34-11 in sets for the Mounties (4-10, 0-7 in Delphic League play), will have his work cut out trying to make the Cardinal, ranked No. 1 in the nation. But he took a step in the right direction by winning the boys' 18 division of an invitational tournament at Cal State Northridge last week.

Davis, a 6-foot-3 right-hander, used 17 aces to defeat 6-7 Patrick Powerly, 6-2, 6-3, in the final.

"I don't think I could have played any better," Davis said. "I held my own and kept blocking his serve back. I really wanted to win a tournament."

The victory has helped justify his focus on tennis over golf, a sport in which he has improved dramatically since last summer.

"I've got tennis coaches telling me to give up golf and golf coaches telling me to give up tennis," Davis said.

For now, he juggles both sports, often on the same day.

On Thursday, Davis played with the golf team in Delphic League finals, then rushed to Cal State Northridge to play in the tennis team's regular-season finale against Whitney.

"It's very tough," said Davis, in his second season as captain of the tennis team. "But this was our last match, and tennis is what's more important to me."

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Sophomore Ashley Kaye is the only girl on the Montclair Prep boys' tennis team, which began the season with four girls.

She plays on the boys' team because Montclair Prep does not have a girls' program.

"They're all guys, and I'm in the middle of all this," Kaye said. "I think at first they were like, 'What is she doing here?' But it doesn't matter. I think it's fun."

Kaye, who plays No. 3 doubles with Zach Friedman, has managed to enjoy herself despite a 3-12 record in sets.

"It's kind of hard," she said. "I don't have a lot of good skills yet, but I have a good attitude."

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The Crespi boys' tennis team keeps getting better.

Talented but inexperienced when the season started, the Celts have developed into one of the region's best teams heading into the Southern Section playoffs next week. In the process, they set a school record for victories.

Crespi (16-4, 8-4 in league play), ranked No. 1 in the Division V coaches' poll and No. 6 in the region, finished third in the rugged Mission League behind Harvard-Westlake and Loyola.

"We just keep setting the bar a little higher," fourth-year Coach Jeff Cortez said.

The Celts have done it behind singles players Stephen Amritraj and Michael Smith and the doubles team of Hutson Olsen and Steven Bondy.

Amritraj, a sophomore and the team's No. 1 player, is 38-1 in sets, with his only loss coming against Scott Stewart of Malibu. Smith, a senior who won the Mission League doubles championship with Carlos Gil last season, is 49-2 in singles sets and 6-0 in doubles.

Olsen, a senior, and Bondy, a freshman, play No. 2 doubles but are the team's most consistent combination. Marc McNicoll, another freshman, has contributed in singles and doubles.

"We're playing well and feeling pretty good about ourselves right now," Cortez said.

That was particularly true after a 10-8 victory Wednesday over Camarillo (12-5), ranked No. 10 in the region.

The Celts' recent performances are especially sweet for Cortez, who will leave after the season to become football coach at Paraclete.

"I didn't expect quite this type of a year," he said. "It's a good wayto finish. I'm leaving at a good time."

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Harvard-Westlake closed out the regular season with a flourish, winning three Mission League matches and tying Brentwood.

The Wolverines began with a 9-9 tie with Brentwood on Monday that was called a draw when the teams tied, 70-70, in games.

"It's weird," Wolverine Coach Keith Huyssoon said. "It's never happened to either team."

Harvard-Westlake (21-3-1, 12-0), ranked No. 2 in the Division I coaches' poll and No. 1 in the region, closed out the week with victories over St. Francis, Alemany and Loyola to wrap up its second consecutive league title. The Wolverines shared the championship with Loyola last season.

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