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Boys tennis preview: Mt. Spokane returns core of team that won district, regional titles

Mt. Spokane head coach Don Story returns almost his full 2018 squad that finished fourth in the Greater Spokane League last season before winning districts and regionals.

“My singles players, all of them worked hard in the offseason, which makes a tremendous difference,” Story said. “Graham (Clark) is a sophomore and he is my No. 1, but my 2, 3 and 4 are all seniors and they played hard all winter.”

Story wouldn’t be surprised if Clark ends the season undefeated in league play, even at his young age.

“We went down to Lewiston and I saw him play against Eric Liu, who is the No. 1 guy at Mead, and he beat Liu 2-1,” Story said. “Pretty impressive, and Liu is an impressive player, and for Graham (Clark) to do that against Eric – and I think Eric might be his stiffest competition in the league – so I am looking for him to do really well in the GSL and also in the Inland Empire and postleague playoffs.”

Clark’s dad Steve was a former national-caliber tennis player and was the head tennis coach at UC Davis, where he produced multiple top-five ranked players, two Big West Conference titles and seven bids to the NCAA Tournament.

Steve Clark was an All-American player for UC Davis before he played professionally for the Sacramento Capitals World Tennis Team.

One of the few new Wildcats players is Harvey Johnson. While he is a freshman, he is no stranger to the team. His two older brothers were No. 1 singles players under Story.

“Harvey almost played golf and I lobbied hard for him to play tennis, so now I at least have a Johnson for four more years,” Story said.

“They are an amazing family. Their dad is a pastor at Life Center and their mom actually runs the student aid office at (Mt. Spokane), so they are just an exceptional family and I love having them on my team.”

With another offseason worth of training under their belts, the Wildcats hope to parlay last year’s postseason success into a more consistent threat.

“If they play to their potential, it will be hard to beat any of those guys all season long,” Story said.