CNJ file photo Clovis freshman Heather Trujillo posted a 21-5 record and a District 4-5A runnerup finish this season. Trujillo and senior Marlon Wright will represent CHS in Class 5A state singles tennis competition starting Friday.
By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
Heather Trujillo is looking forward to playing in Class 5A state singles competition on Friday.
She’s also a little wary.
Trujillo, seeded eighth in the 12-player field, faces Amanda Kane of Onate, a player she edged in a super-tiebreaker during a tournament at Hobbs in early April, in an 8 a.m. match at the Jerry Cline Complex in Albuquerque.
It’s good to be facing someone you’re somewhat familiar with, but at the same time, it’s still state.
“It’s really great to go to state,” said Trujillo, a Yucca Junior High freshman who posted a 21-5 record this spring. “I’m very happy to be going, but I’m very nervous.”
Senior Marlon Wright will represent the CHS boys in the event, taking on Matt Klett of La Cueva in a 9:30 a.m. match.
A quarterfinal berth for either would mean a matchup with the top seed — Carlsbad’s Tamara Erdinger for Trujillo, La Cueva’s Cody Hall for Wright.
Trujillo said it helps a bit to be playing someone familiar.
“I have confidence against her,” she said of Kane. “I’ve played her, and I realize I can do it.”
She’s also faced Erdinger, a German exchange student, in the finals of the District 4-5A tournament at CHS on April 28. Trujillo pushed Erdinger, especially early, before losing 6-4, 6-2.
“Hopefully, her inexperience at this level won’t hurt her, but she usually does a good job of staying focused,” CHS girls coach Billie Merritt said. “I think it’ll be interesting. Heather’s beaten this girl (Kane), but it was a tough match.
“I’m hoping she can win that first round, and hopefully easily.”
Wright, who was 11-11 this season, will have to get through two of La Cueva’s three entries if he is to advance to the semifinals on Saturday morning.
“Marlon has to play within himself and not get caught up in where he is,” CHS boys coach Dan Replogle said. “He has to concentrate on every point.”
Wright said he isn’t worrying about who’s seeded where.
“I try not to think about that,” he said. “Any player can go out any time and play his best and come up with a win.”
He’s prone to talk to himself on the court, saying that serves to keep him focused as well as keep him calm.
“I’m going to try to make it like a regular match, but it’s going to be pretty tense,” he said. “My goal would have to be to keep my shots deep and try to stay in the point.”
Replogle, in his first year as the Wildcats’ coach, said a late-season win over Portales’ Kyle Adams was a benchmark for Wright.
“Part of Marlon’s improvement this year is because he’s mentally tougher,” Replogle said. “When he beat Kyle Adams here, that win helped get him over the hump.”