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SWIAC boys tennis will use different format this year

Posted Thursday, August 5, 2010, at 2:42 PM

North Central is joining the Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference this fall, after the end of the Tri-River Conference last spring.

Most sports will just add the Thunderbirds to their schedule, if not already on there, and have one more game in the SWIAC to determine a conference champion.

The exception, not counting the Southwest Seven Football Conference, which features five SWIAC teams, will be tennis.

The powers that be could not figure out a way to add a fifth team (Bloomfield, Linton-Stockton, White River Valley and North Daviess) to the conference tournament schedule.

Instead the regular-season contests amongst the five squads will determine a boys tennis SWIAC champion.

"The conference is going to be different this year," said Linton-Stockton boys tennis coach Brad McKinney. "With North Central coming in, they could not find a way to make the tournament schedule work for five teams.

"It will come down to head-to-head matches."

McKinney said that regular season matches against North Daviess, WRV and Bloomfield previously did not have as much meaning as they will have now.

"When you played SWIAC teams early and lost, you knew you would have another shot at them in the conference tournament," he said. "Obviously regular-season meetings will take on more importance with the new format, which is like the other conference sports."

Bloomfield, led by coach Mike Canty has dominated the SWIAC since it began back in 1991.

Led by coach Mike Canty, who is 189-140 in 16 seasons at BHS, the Cardinals have won the SWIAC in boys 13 times, 11 under Canty's leadership.

Canty said that he and McKinney both worked on trying to keep the SWIAC tournament, but were unable to make it work.

"Right now the No. 1 seeds get a bye. With a fifth team, it just became very difficult to come up with pairings," said Canty.

"Brad is really good at things like that. If he could not figure it out, it most likely couldn't be done."

The only exceptions to the Cardinal success have been North Daviess winning in 1991, 1999, 2000 and 2008 and Linton-Stockton taking the SWIAC crown in 2004 and 2005.

"Coach Canty always does a great job," said McKinney. "He always seem to reload and not rebuild.

"They are always the team to beat at the SWIAC. They have had a good run. You can't ever count out Bloomfield."

But McKinney knows that North Central has had some very competitive boys squads in recent seasons.

"They have been pretty good," he said of the Thunderbirds. "They probably would have won some sectionals, but they have to go play at Terre Haute.

"They are going to be in the mix in the conference."

Bloomfield, winners of past 3 of 4 and 6 of 9 conference tournaments, won't play North Central until Wednesday, Sept. 15 at Farmersburg.

Linton-Stockton will travel to North Central Tuesday, Aug. 31.

North Central will host WRV Tuesday, Sept. 21.

Canty said he liked the old format.

"I really don't like it," he said of the new format. "But there was no other way to do it."

Nobody knows for sure the status of the SWIAC tournament, scheduled for Sept. 10-11 at North Daviess.

"I have listed it on our schedule as the North Daviess Invitational instead of the SWIAC," said Canty. "I hope that we figure out a way to play that weekend, no matter what format we use."

*

McKinney said that Northview, winners of four straight sectionals and 10 in school history, will again be the team to beat at the Northview Sectional.

"Northview is our nemesis," he said. "They have a lot of kids back.

"Greencastle will be better and Owen Valley is pretty young. We would like to think we will have a chance to compete with them at the end of the season."

Bloomfield and WRV will compete again at the Loogootee Sectional. The Cardinals went 19-2 last year, setting a school record for wins. They also won the sectional in 2009, their first in 12 years.

SWIAC Tennis Champions

Boys

1991 -- North Daviess

1992 -- Bloomfield

1993 -- Bloomfield

1994 -- Bloomfield

1995 -- Bloomfield

1996 -- Bloomfield

1997 -- Bloomfield

1998 -- Bloomfield

1999 -- North Daviess

2000 -- North Daviess

2001 -- Bloomfield

2002 -- Bloomfield

2003 -- Bloomfield

2004 -- Linton-Stockton

2005 -- Linton-Stockton

2006 -- Bloomfield

2007 -- Bloomfield

2008 -- North Daviess

2009 -- Bloomfield



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Enough said
B.J. Hargis
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