High School Sports

Expect these 5 metro-east tennis players to be among the state's best

Mascoutah’s Andy Graf hits a backhand during practice at the school.
Mascoutah’s Andy Graf hits a backhand during practice at the school. snagy@bnd.com

Andy Graf, Mascoutah, senior

At the top of the Indians lineup since the start of his freshman season, Graf looks to put the finishing touch on his high school career with a top 5 performance at the Class A State Tournament in late May.

Headed to Emporia State University where he will be a member of the Hornets tennis program beginning in August, Graf burst upon the tennis scene by placing second in the IHSA sectional as a freshman three years ago. Since that time, the Indians' standout has won sectional titles the last two two years. In three trips to the state tennis tournament, Graf has won nine of 15 matches. He has also won his first two matches in the main draw in his past two state tournament appearances.

Max Skaer, Belleville East, junior

A two-time Southwestern Conference runner-up, Skaer has been consistent in his first two years at the top of the Lancers lineup. Second to Graf in the IHSA sectional two years ago, Skaer won the crown last season by beating Eric Weiler of Edwardsville in the final. Skaer is 4-4 in two trips to the state tournament, but was 3-2 a year ago when he placed in the top 24 in the Class AA bracket.

Alex Gray, Edwardsville, senior

Now a senior, Gray's ability as a singles player is often overlooked because of his brilliance as a doubles player. After finishing 3-2 while teaming with Jonathan Koons to win a sectional title as a freshman three years ago, Gray has combined with Zach Trimpe to form the top doubles combination in the state the past two years. The combination won the Class AA state championship last year after placing fourth in 2016. Gray and Trimpe have combined to win 12 of 14 matches at the state finals during the past two years..

Zach Trimpe, Edwardsville, senior

Also one of the top high school golfers in the metro east, Trimpe is halfway through a high school tennis career in which he could rewrite the record book at Edwardsville High School. In addition to sharing a state championship and fourth place medal finish with Gray the past two years, Trimpe is a two-time Southwestern Conference champion in singles.

Dominic Macaluso, O'Fallon, senior

After winning back-to-back sectional singles championships during his first two years as a Panther, Macaluso opted to take a break from high school tennis a year ago in order to train on his own and play in tournaments on his own. He returns to the wars in the Southwestern Conference this spring and should be one of the top players in Southern Illinois. Macaluso split eight matches in his first two trips to the IHSA State Tennis Tournament.

Related stories from Belleville News-Democrat