There isn’t much more John Stormans can accomplish as a doubles player in the world of high school boys tennis.
So the Olympia senior is heading back to the singles side – which could spell doom for every other player in the 4A classification.
“He would have been a No. 1 singles player his entire high school career if it wasn’t for the situation he was in,” said Olympia coach Denny Bailey.
Olympia had three No. 1-caliber players in 2010 with Stormans, Hunter Wood and Will Topp.
Topp ended up on the singles side while Stormans and long-time friend Wood teamed up to run roughshod through the rest of the state’s best doubles teams, capturing state titles the past two seasons.
With Wood graduating, Stormans now returns to the singles side, which will hardly be foreign territory for him.
Stormans advanced to the state tournament in singles play as a freshman, winning his first-round match before losing to eventual third-place finisher Matt Overland of Kentridge. Stormans went 1-1 in the consolation bracket, falling one victory shy of placing.
“It’s like having another coach out there,” Bailey said about his senior star. “He’s always sharing, mentoring, coaching up the other players.”
Sliding into the top doubles team will be Nathan Stahley and Chad Wooten, who inherit some big shoes to fill after the team of Stormans and Wood dropped just one set over their two-year run.
“Things seem to be falling into place for us,” Bailey said. “Everyone has racket skills, but a lot of this game is mental. We’re working on developing that mental toughness.”
While one of the most successful duos in local prep sports history has split up in Olympia, another one will enjoy one more season together.
Brady Calkins and Jared Rasmussen return as two of the area’s top golfers – providing W.F. West with a powerful 1-2 punch.
But coach Bruce Thompson thinks his team is deeper this season than just the top two, which always helps when the state tournament rolls around.
“I think we have four guys who can all make it to state again,” Thompson said.
W.F. West, the defending 2A District IV champion, sent four golfers – Calkins, Rasmussen, Jacob Botten and Lucas Vasilauskas – to state last year, the most of any team in the district.
The Bearcats finished third at the state tournament two seasons ago and sixth last season with Calkins, who also plays baseball for the Bearcats, leading the way. He finished fifth at state last year and sixth as a sophomore.
Rasmussen finished 19th and Botten was 24th at last year’s state tournament.
Due to seasonal scheduling, 2A and 1A schools hold boys golf in the fall, while larger classifications hold the sport in the spring.
All schools participate in the state tournament in May, leaving a near-seven month gap for 2A and 1A players between the district golf tournament and state.
“The time off isn’t much of a concern,” Thompson said. “They play all year long. They find time to fit in to their schedules.”
What to watch for in Tennis
Who has had a better start to the season than Shelton senior John Pentony? He could be the player to beat after topping the No. 1 singles players from both powerhouse Bellarmine Prep and Gig Harbor. Another big test will come when Pentony faces Olympia’s John Stormans, who hasn’t played singles since his freshman season. The two are likely to play each other when Shelton and Olympia meet Oct. 11. Stormans has won the past two 4A doubles state titles with partner Hunter Wood, who has since graduated. … Capital freshman Ty Gentry is one of the nation’s top players in his age group, and ranks No. 2 in the Northwest, according to www.tennisrecruiting.net. The site also has USC and Washington as two Pac-12 programs with high interest on Gentry. … The doubles team to beat is W.F. West’s Kenny Saari and Cody Schultz, who placed fifth at the Class 2A state meet in May.
10 TO WATCH
Jason Agtarap, jr., North Thurston
Jimmy Do, jr., Black Hills
Zach Drake, sr., Tumwater
Ty Gentry, fr., Capital
Ryan Gudbranson, jr., Tumwater
Kevin Ho, sr., Timberline
John Pentony, sr., Shelton
Kenny Saari, jr., W.F. West
Cody Schultz, sr., W.F. West
John Stormans, sr., Olympia
WHAT TO WATCH FOR in golf
Nobody had a better summer than W.F. West’s Brady Calkins, who won the Lewis County Amateur in August and played at the Callaway Golf World Championships at Torrey Pines in San Diego in July. His fifth-place finish at the Class 2A state tournament in May lifted the Bearcats to sixth place overall in the team standings. … District IV has had strong showings at state the past few seasons; all of the teams – W.F. West, Tumwater and Hockinson – have had top-six team finishes. … Boys golf in 2A and 1A has the season in the fall with the state tournament in May. The boys 4A, 3A, and 2B boys golf regular season is in the spring.
5 TO WATCH
Brady Calkins, sr., W.F. West
Jared Rasmussen, sr., W.F. West
Jake Shief, jr., Black Hills
Joel Christopher, jr., Capital
Heath Ohnemus, jr., Tumwatermwochnick@theolympian.com