Hey everyone, my name is Joshua Mayers and I’ll be covering the Metro League this season. I’m a journalism graduate from the University of Washington and this is my third year working for the Times.
On Wednesday, we ran a profile of a young tennis star, Max Manthou. In talking with his dad, Frank, and personal coach Jesse Walter, I learned that school tennis means almost nothing to talents like Max, especially in regards to playing collegiate or professional tennis.
“He could win the state title and [UW tennis coach] Matt Enger wouldn’t turn his head,” said Walter, a Boeing Employees Tennis Club coach.
Max Manthou’s reputation as a tennis recruit comes from his participation in USTA youth tournaments across the nation. Recruiting sources like TennisRecruiting.net track the participation of kids (even as young as sixth-graders!) in these events.
This emphasis on out-of-school competition is also prevalent in soccer, basketball and others. Most of the scouts and premier talents are found around the select leagues. In sports like football, however, performance on Friday night in a high-school game means more than anything.
What are your thoughts on the specialization of these young athletes? And what does it mean for high-school sports?
I look forward to exchanging ideas with you all year long.
1. O’Dea boys golf team — The top five boys — Cory Mehl (-2), Tyler Kato (-1), Sandy Vaughan (E), Kevin Trudell (E), and Daniel Nelson (+1) — finished a combined 2-under at West Seattle Golf Course.
2. Megan McBride, Auburn Mountainview, volleyball — The 6-foot-1 junior led her team in kills (12) and assists (17) in the Lions’ four-set win over Auburn.
3. Hannah Mittelstaedt, Tahoma, girls cross country — The sophomore finished 24 seconds ahead of a 65-competitor pack to help the Bears hand Jefferson its first SPSL loss in seven years.
Tonight’s top games
1. Kentwood at Kentridge, volleyball, 7:15 p.m. — The No. 2 Conquerors take their perfect record to Kentridge (3-1) for a big SPSL North match.
2. Puyallup vs. Bethel, football, 7 p.m., Sparks Stadium (Puyallup) — The No. 5 Vikings (3-0), coming off a 35-21 win over Beamer, host another SPSL South contender in the Braves (3-0).
3. Woodinville vs. Lake Washington, girls soccer, 7:30 p.m. — The reigning Class 4A champion Falcons (4-1-0) kick off their KingCo Conference schedule with the Kangaroos (3-1-0), who advanced to the quarterfinals last season.