Landon School's tennis team has been the benchmark for excellence for 25 years.
This spring the Bears have been nearly perfect in cruising to their 21st Interstate Athletic Conference title since 1960. The competition was intense with powerful teams from Episcopal, Sidwell Friends, Bullis and St. Albans, but the results were the same.
Landon was undefeated in doubles play and won 40 of 42 individual matches, which is not bad for a young team consisting of four freshmen, two sophomores, two juniors and two seniors.
"If anything, this is a team that will only improve," said Landon Coach Bill Zaiser. "And our depth was amazing. Our first 10 players were all excellent."
All-Met Spiro Fotopoulis; Chris Thompson, the District's top-ranked 15-16-year-old Mid-Atlantic Tennis Association player; Lee Van Blerkom, a top MATA player in the 13-14 bracket, and W.T. Miller formed the nearly invincible singles quartet. And the doubles trio of Peter Arrowsmith and Doug Boggs, Tyler Gibson and Jim Jacobsen and Bill Curtin and Bill Yance was even better.
This weekend, Landon will compete in the National Prep Invitational tournament at Duke University, an event last won by the Bears nine years ago.
"We'll be taking five players to Duke," Zaiser said. "Duke uses a four-singles, two-doubles format and that could possibly cost us since we're so deep, but we expect to do well there. Whether we'll win or not, we'll just have to wait and see who else shows up. But I know one thing, everyone I bring to Duke this year will be returning to play for us again next season."
Gonzaga defensive end Karl Gannon, defensive tackle Reggis Taylor, wide receiver Paul Riley and nose guard Joe Reyda have decided to attend Catholic University next fall. Coach Ro Waldron will also welcome DeMatha running back Keith Harris and St. John's offensive tackle Paul Dollahite next season . . . Mary Phillips, who has served as interim athletic director at Laurel, has been named to take over the job permanently. Chuck Hickus will succeed Baker as Laurel's varsity football coach.