Team Darling
By Zach Brandt

With every high school tennis season comes great expectations for the entire valley. The 2011 season for the Palo Verde Panther tennis team was no exception. The team was coming off back to back Nevada State Championships and senior Tanner Berkabile and junior Ozzy Abraham were preparing to defend their State Doubles Title. The Panthers added some key freshman players in Kota Cook, Teijiro Nishimura, Rhett Bossung and Conor Safbom. Returning starters Pascal Nilsson and Zack Surmacz added some solid experience and depth to the young panther lineup. The Palo Verde Panthers only returned 4 starters from the previous season.

Hard work in the off season and some tough practices really prepared the boys team. They cruised through the season undefeated for the third year in a row and Sunset Division title holders once again. The panthers had some very tough tests in past seasons versus the Centennial Bulldogs and this year they had to face a gritty Centennial Bulldogs team once again. The Panthers barely edged the Bulldogs during the regular season and in the Sunset Regional Championship it was no different. The Panther came out victorious.

Tanner and Ozzy
During the state tournament the Panthers lost in the first round to a tough and experienced Reno High School team that made their long trip worthwhile by also dispatching of Coronado High School in the State Championship.

The final bright spot for the Panthers fell on the shoulders of Tanner Berkabile and Ozzy Abraham in the doubles state championship. They marched through the competition to finally meet up with Reno High Schools best doubles team in the finals. Tanner and Ozzy played flawless tennis with the entire panther team cheering from the sidelines. They redeemed our loss as a team with a crushing victory in the finals [6-0, 6-3] over Chris and Nick Sexton. This was Tanner and Ozzys second straight state double title.

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