OLYMPIA — Doug Doenges doesn’t have a lot of down time these days.
With the start of his senior year at Capital High School, Doenges’ top priority continues to be working toward attending his dream school – the University of Pennsylvania – next year.
When he’s not pounding the books trying to achieve his Ivy League goal, Doenges can usually be found at one other place – a tennis court.
Doenges played a large role in the Cougars’ second-place finish at the Class 2A tournament in the spring, teaming with Mathias Burlingame to capture third place in boys doubles.
As one of the senior leaders, Doenges’ responsibilities will be even greater this year as Capital looks to secure its first state tennis
championship since 1991.
“ ‘Smooth’ would be the best word to describe him on the court,” Capital tennis coach Tom Alongi said. “You watch him play and he does everything so effortlessly. He’s quiet, but really focused and disciplined when he plays. He has all the natural ability in the world, but he’s also a hard worker and doesn’t just rely on ability.”
Born in Pennsylvania, Doenges started playing tennis as a third grader while attending a clinic at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.
“I don’t remember it having that much of an impact the first time I played,” Doenges said. “I was a pretty easygoing kid growing up. I think I was happy just doing anything. It wasn’t until a couple years later that I really got interested in playing the sport.”
Doenges, who moved to Olympia in fifth grade, opened his high school tennis career at Bellarmine Prep, a program that won four state championships from 2004-07, before transferring to Capital as a sophomore.
“Playing at Bellarmine as a freshman was actually a great experience,” Doenges said, “but I really love it here at Capital. Coach Alongi’s approach to the game is something I really enjoy. I think we have more support at our school for the sport than most other schools.”
And the buzz around Capital tennis couldn’t be higher with Alongi welcoming about 50 players for tryouts for a second consecutive year before trimming his roster to 31.
Alongi said Doenges will be without doubles partner Burlingame through the early part of the regular season because Burlingame is academically ineligible after the spring quarter.
Burlingame will be eligible to play in late September. While he’s sidelined Alongi plans to use Doenges as a jack-of-all-trades on the court.
“We will have him play some singles matches and with some of our other double players before Mathias comes back,” Alongi said. “He’s strong enough to play singles, but he’s such a smart player, he’s successful at doubles as well.”
Singles or doubles, Doenges is versatile to excel at either.
“It doesn’t really matter to me,” Doenges said. “I actually don’t have a preference. They are so different, but I really do love playing both. It all depends on the mood. If I want to serve big, I will play singles. If I want to play more strategies, I go with doubles.”
Last season’s runner-up finish at state was the Cougars’ best since 1992 when they finished second to Battle Ground in 3A. Capital won 3A state tennis titles in 1991 and 1989.
Twice before the school has had a doubles state champions: Joel Black and Brachith Manikoth in 1989 and Thanh Tang and Dan Araiza in 1992.
“It’s pretty remarkable we were able to finish second as a team in state last year, considering the year before we didn’t have a single player advance to the state tournament,” Doenges said. “Hopefully, this year we will have just as strong a showing, maybe get more than just one singles player and one doubles team through and challenge for a state title.”
BOYS GOLF PRIMER
WHAT TO WATCH THIS SEASON
The cream of the crop the past few years in District IV has been W.F. West, which earned a runner-up team finish at the 2A state tournament at Chambers Bay in the spring. Fellow District IV foe Hockinson won the 2A team title after the Hawks and W.F. West also went 1-2 at the District IV championships. … Coaches say the 2A Evergreen Conference is wide open this year, and Black Hills could be a threat behind seniors Jake Shier, who is home-schooled, and Ryan Waldron. The Wolves won the inaugural Thunderbird Invitational last week at The Home Course in DuPont behind Shier’s 80. Right behind were Tumwater seniors Heath Ohnemus (81) and Luke Hare, a 2013 state participant (83). … Joel Christopher, who placed 13th at state, and state alternate Brent Chapin, led an experienced Capital team that won 10 matches last fall. 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.
7 fall golfers to watch
Heath Ohnemus, Tumwater, sr.
Luke Hare, Tumwater, sr.
Jake Shier, Black Hills, sr.
Joel Christopher, Capital, sr.
Tucker Voetberg, Centralia, jr.
Ryan Waldron, Black Hills, sr. BOYS TENNIS PRIMER
WHAT TO WATCH THIS SEASON
He’s just a sophomore, but Capital’s Ty Gentry is one of the nation’s top players in his age group, according to tennisrecruiting.net, gaining attention from multiple Pacific-12 Conference programs. He entered the 2A state tournament in May undefeated before losing to Sehome’s Avery West in the singles championship match. When doubles teammates Doug Doenges and Mathias Burlingame of Capital team up toward the end of the fall, they’ll be one of the top doubles teams. The Cougars pair placed third at May’s 2A state tournament. … Kyle Wooten and Will Berghoff of Olympia are returning 4A state participants for the Bears, who will turn to freshman Jamie Bautista for No. 1 singles. Twins Nolan and William Godfrey will team up in doubles for the first time in high school. … Jack State starts his 40th year of coaching tennis at W.F. West. Bearcats senior Daniel Bloomdahl, who paired with Kenny Saari for a sixth-place finish at state in doubles, moves to singles. … Centralia, with a record turnout of 21 players, features a trio of Corwin brothers, senior Micah, junior Josiah and sophomore Noah, and the Martin twins – Nick and Chris – at No. 1 doubles. Micah Corwin already won his first match at No. 1 singles against Washougal, 6-4, 6-4. … Kristine Mosher, Timberline’s girls tennis coach the past four years, doubles up as the Blazers boys coach.
10 players to watch
Jason Agtarap, North Thurston, sr.
Daniel Bloomdahl, W.F. West, sr.
Jimmy Do, Black Hills, sr.
Doug Doenges, Capital, sr.
Ty Gentry, Capital, so.
Kyle Wooten, Olympia, jr.
Will Berghoff, Olympia, jr.
Ryan Gudbranson, Tumwater, sr.
Jeff Tafoya, Timberline, sr.
Micah Corwin, Centralia, firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com