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Catalina Foothills boys win 5th straight state team title

GLENDALE – One program was seeking its fifth straight Class 4A Division I championship, while the other is in the fifth year of building its program.

Tradition won out.

Catalina Foothills High School finished its blitz through the Class 4A-I state boys tennis tournament Saturday as it hammered upstart Goodyear Millennium 5-0 at Glendale’s Paseo Racquet Center to capture its fifth straight boys title.

“We are better than I thought we were,” Foothills coach Robb Salant said. “We’re just too deep. You can’t see a weak spot in our lineup. Compared to our last five championship teams, I’d say this team ranks somewhere between two and three. I say that because we’re solid 1-6, but we don’t have much beyond that. But those six are pretty darned good.”

Foothills got off to a strong start, winning all three doubles matches. The third doubles victory came when juniors Zach Hoffor and Dan Hyman upset freshmen brothers and recently crowned 4A-I state champions Hunter and Yates Johnson 8-4.

“To show what I know, I didn’t think we’d win that match,” Salant said. “But my two kids were too big and strong for them. Going 3-0 in the doubles was huge. How can you come back from that? You’d have to win five of the six singles matches and that’s never been done.”

Foothills quickly sewed up the match when sophomore Wade Heerboth downed Millennium senior Billy Mlsek 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3 singles, and senior No. 4 Mike Tringali topped Nate Kobylinski 6-2, 6-1.

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