Mount Airy High School hosts the Northwest Conference tennis championship today and tomorrow.
Atkins, Bishop McGuinness, East Surry and Walkertown will join the Granite Bears for singles and doubles, beginning at 4:30 p.m. if weather permits.
With five schools involved (North Stokes and Winston-Salem Prep don’t have boys’ teams), singles and doubles will use a 10-entry bracket. The four lowest seeds will face off in play-in matches, with the winners advancing into a standard eight-team bracket.
Bishop went undefeated to take the Northwest team title, and its players were all seeded high enough to avoid the play-in rounds. The Villains’ top four players chose doubles and are seeded first and second.
Mount Airy’s four entries also won’t have to play until the second round.
Mitch Kessler (17-1, 7-1 in the NW) is the top seed for singles. Teammate Gentry Williamson was 11-4 as a sixth seed this season and is seeded sixth.
Kessler awaits the winner of East Surry’s Dan Moore and Atkins’ Ryan Bask.
In the other play-in match, East’s John Marion, a fifth seed on his team, will face Daniel Guffey, the fifth seed for Walkertown.
The winner advances to face Will Shannon, the fifth seed for Bishop.
Williamson is the underdog against Atkins’ top seed, Dillon Jennings. The winner of that match faces the winner of the Will Shannon match.
The other quarterfinal match is Walkertown’s fourth seed, Dylan Mabe, against Bishop’s sixth seed, Lance Dittrich. The winner advances to face the winner of the Kessler match.
East Surry’s two doubles entries will play in the first round.
With top seed Daniel Hancock out, Aaron Sigmon and Lucas Bonilla play in the top half of the bracket, with Trevor Lowe and Ben Ruedisueli on the bottom half.
Sigmon/Bonilla take on Atkins’ Alex Varsik and Josh Woodard, with the winner going on to face Bishop’s Sam McLaughry and Zack Jones.
Lowe/Ruedisueli face Atkins’ Jonathan Grubbs and Jared Solomon with the winner facing Bishop’s Ben Jandzinski and Jonathan Ingram.
The Bears’ Justin Leonard and Jack Marion are the third seeds against Walkertown’s Daniel Parnell and Brycen Schenker.
Leonard and Marion only played three matches as a pair, but won all three, according to Coach Rodney Pell.
On the other hand, freshmen Will Sparks and Hunt Harrison played together all season and went 14-2, 6-0 in the Northwest.
The two will face Walkertown’s Everett McClelland and Wyatt Neal, with the winner moving on to face the top seeds, McLaughry/Jones.
The quarterfinal matches will take place after the first round, tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m.
The semifinals will be back at Mount Airy Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., with the finals and third-place matches to follow.