By Joe Naiman
Village News Reporter 

Legionnaires start tennis season 3-0


Last updated 4/21/2021 at 10:19am

Bonsall High School’s tennis team began the 2021 season with three wins.

The Legionnaires started their season March 18 at High Tech High North County and won that match in San Marcos by a 10-8 score, played Horizon Prep in an April 1 match at the Fallbrook Tennis Club and obtained a 9-6 victory, and had a 17-1 win April 6 against High Tech High North County at the Fallbrook Tennis Club.

“Our boys have done very well,” Bonsall Coach Mark Roback said.

This year the team has eight boys and four girls. Bonsall has never had a girls’ tennis team, so the girls compete with the boys’ team.

“We’ve had girls on our team all three years we’ve had a team,” Roback said.

If there is a girls’ tennis season that normally takes place during the fall while boys tennis is a spring sport. The coronavirus shutdown compressed the three normal CIF seasons into two for 2020-2021, and boys’ and girls’ tennis were combined including formal mixed doubles sets for the first time in San Diego Section history.

In a normal boys’ or girls’ season, three singles players from each school play sets against each of the other school’s singles players while three doubles tandems from each team face each of their doubles counterparts. One team point is given for each set won, and if each team wins nine sets the tiebreaker of games won is used to determine the team winner. This season’s format consists of three boys’ singles sets, three girls’ singles sets, three boys’ doubles sets, three girls’ doubles sets and five mixed doubles sets.

“It’s kind of a goofy year,” Roback said.

A boy or girl is limited to two sets in a match, so a school must have at least seven boys and seven girls to avoid forfeiting any sets. Under the previous, format nine players were needed to avoid forfeiting sets.

Roback and High Tech High North County coach Adrianne Santa Romana agreed to utilize the round-robin format rather than the format which requires seven boys and seven girls.

“We played the traditional way that we’ve always played,” Roback said.

The Legionnaires won eight of nine singles sets March 18. All three sets senior Jeffrey Roback played had 6-0 scores.

“He did really well,” Mark Roback said.

Bonsall junior Garret Murphy also won all three of his singles sets, and senior Dakota Thompson won two of three singles sets. The doubles team of junior Jack Gates and sophomore Lindsey Richards won two of their three sets.

The Legionnaires changed their home court to the Fallbrook Tennis Club this year.

“It’s so much nicer,” Roback said.

Horizon Prep coach Rick Troia desired the new format even though the Lions have no boys on the team and forfeited all boys’ singles, boys’ doubles and mixed doubles sets.

“I just get frustrated when all my guys sit on the bench,” Roback said.

Horizon Prep won the six girls’ sets.

“My girls are all brand-new tennis players,” Roback said. “All his girls have been playing since they were 6-7 years old.”

Richards was on the 2020 team and is the only girl who is a returning player. Five players from the 2020 team return. Bonsall had five matches last year before the coronavirus outbreak ended the season earlier than scheduled.

Three of last year’s Patriot League teams – Gompers, High Tech High San Diego and High Tech High Chula Vista – are not fielding tennis teams this year. This year’s league consists of Bonsall, High Tech High North County, Horizon Prep and Southern California Yeshiva.

Bonsall was able to field a tennis team, but the Legionnaires do not have soccer or track and field for 2020-2021.

“We’ve got a few players who have kind of transitioned over,” Roback said.

The April 6 match against High Tech High North County utilized round-robin singles and doubles sets, which allowed Bonsall to utilize coed doubles teams.

“We played the same way we played last year,” Roback said.

Jeffrey Roback won three 6-0 sets in the April 6 match, and Murphy won all three of his sets.

An injured elbow kept sophomore Andrew Roback out of the Legionnaires’ first two matches, but he played a set April 6. He won that 6-0 contest and was then replaced by senior Henrik Nylund, who had been on the Legionnaire’s track and field team and had not previously played tennis. Nylund won 6-3 sets against the other two High Tech High North County opponents.

Circus Vargas

Bonsall’s doubles players won eight of nine sets April 6, although the Raptors only had two doubles tandems and thus forfeited three sets. Gates and Richards won both of their sets by 6-0 margins. The doubles team of freshmen Kani Moody and Mahala Sayler won both of their sets contested on the court. Noah Richards, a freshman who is not related to Lindsey Richards, teamed with freshman Sheila Folger to win a 6-3 set.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected]


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