Today, we're going to take a look at some closer rivals. Due to distance, these are teams that we get pretty excited to compete with year after year. Some we have had good success against, others we've only beaten once or twice.
If you've missed any of the previews in this series so far, here's the first two segments.
Advanced Scouting 1.0: Tournament Rivals
Advanced Scouting 2.0: Lesser Rivals
Advanced Scouting 3.0: Local Rivals
And here's the disclaimer! I don't know everything, so don't forget that these previews are just for fun!
Things I do (usually) know:
- The players they have coming back.
- How those players faired last year.
Things I don't know:
- Any new freshman joining the team.
- Any transfers joining the team.
- The amount of work current team members put in.
- The improvement of current team members.
The first non-Sectional local rival we'll face, in the first week of the season, are the Raiders. They are losing the most dominant piece of their team from last year, All-District player Josh Garfein. They are often a tricky team to predict. They get a lot better from year to year as most of their players only play tennis and they focus on lessons during the offseason. Last year they were a young team, and they shifted their lineup right after they lost to us. So how they lineup will be interesting again this coming season. Will Ted Field move to #1? Has someone else gotten a lot better? Right now, statistics would favor the Bruins here, but will that hold come season?
The bottom line, especially when I start fleshing out statistics like this, is that we always have to be ready to play. There are no easy victories, especially as we start getting to closer and closer rivals. Next week, we'll take a look at our toughest matches of the season, which will undoubtedly come against our Sectional Rivals. But Northern Indiana may be filled with great teams in this upcoming season, let's go be one of them!