BRADENTON — James Flanigan found out his team’s opponent for Tuesday’s Class 1A-Region 5 boys tennis semifinal Monday morning.
Even if he knew earlier that Saint Stephen’s was to host Community School of Naples, it wasn’t as if Flanigan, the Falcons’ first-year head coach, could zip down to Naples to scout.
So he is understandably pleased with how his Falcons handled the match, winning 5-0 while losing just two games.
“These matches are always kind of crazy,” Flanigan said. “You don’t know at all what you’re going to get. I’m happy — losing two games in all five singles matches is pretty darn good.”
Bernardo Sanson won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, while William DeQuant, Peter Moore, Zach Bessette and Brian Berdusco cruised to 6-0, 6-0 victories.
Such depth isn’t foreign to the Falcons.
“We have guys who are academy players who don’t play, but come out here and support,” Flanigan said. “We’re nine guys deep, which has been a real privilege throughout the regular season. And obviously, our one through five, they’re tough players.”
Sanson won a district title at No. 1 last week and paired with DeQuant to do the same at No. 1 doubles. Consequently, they have secured spots at next week’s Class 1A individual state tournament at Sylvan Lake Park in Sanford.
The Falcons, however, want to be involved in the team tournament, which will be played at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry.
A win Thursday over either Naples Seacrest Country Day or St. Petersburg Shorecrest Prep clinches the regional title and a state berth.
“It’s been the goal to win the district, play at state, win state,” Flanigan said. “That’s what the boys have been talking about all year. Judging by how that went right there, they’re dialed in. They’re ready to go. They understand what this all means.”