2. Palmetto. Coach Kelly Gibson, 6th year, 70-3. Last year: 11-1 (Fourth at state). Top players: Cary Milanes, Jr.; Emma Petersen, So.; Alex Schlesinger, Sr.; Gaby Montes, Sr.
3. Coral Gables. Coach David Weiner. Top players: Sonja Radosevic, Sr.
4. Ferguson. Coach Janett Toledo, 2nd year. Last year: 3-5. Top players: Jessica Escobar, Sr.; Ivana Guzman, Jr.; Antonella Balladares, Sr.; Sara Chavez, So.
1. Miami Springs. Coach Manny Fabian, 3rd year at MS, 5th overall. Last year: 7-3. Top players: Jocelyn Salazar, Sr.; Erica Bradley, Fr.; Kelly Alvarez, Fr.; Gaby Sanchez, Fr.
1. Gulliver. Coach Kelly Mulligan. Last year: State runner-up. Top players: Olivia Thaler, Jr.; Julieta Dalmau, Fr.; Sara Culbertson, Fr.; Estefania Navarro, Fr.
1. Ransom Everglades. Coach Peter Lehmann, 3rd year at RE, 8th overall, 63-32). Last year: 12-2 (state champions). Top players: Allegra Hanlon, Jr.; Daniela Lopez, So.; Lindsey Mendelson, Jr.; Claudia Mackenzie, Jr.
2. Carrollton. Coach Max Mangones, 5th year. Top players: Alexandra Fields, Sr.; Lindy Lions, 8th; Sima Vasquez, So.; Nina Cubero, 8th.
3. Hillel. Coach Ildiko Csordas, 3rd year. Last year: District champions. Top players: Sarah Dreyfuss, Sr.; Andrea Waxman, Jr.; Dana Sandoval, Jr.; Dani Schede, So.
4. Miami Country Day. Coach Val Banada, 5th year, 20-31. Last year: 7-9. Top players: Megan Tate, So.; Elizabeth Kasparaitis, So.; Calypso Peraticos, 8th; Sasha Bass, Fr.
5. Palmer Trinity. Coach John Hainline, 2nd year. Top players: Halle Parten, Sr.; Carolina Esslinger, Jr.; Nina Aguirre, Jr.; Katerina Coecarello, Jr.
When Mirko Radosevic looks at the years written on the tennis state championship banners at Coral Gables High, he usually thinks the same thing.
“That was such a long time ago,” Radosevic said. “They all say the 1960s or 1970s. It would be great to finally bring one back.”
Most of the familiar Miami-Dade County perennial state championship contenders such as Gulliver, Dr. Krop, Ransom Everglades and Palmetto have squads capable of making it to state again this season.
But the most decorated tennis powerhouse from the county’s past is hoping to continue its big comeback to championship status.
Following a state runner-up finish in Class 4A, the Coral Gables boys’ tennis team appears strong enough to win its first state title since 1972.
The over-four-decade drought, however, separates a talented current group of Cavaliers from a rich tradition that saw Gables win a state-record 16 boys’ state titles in a 25-year span.
“Our school is good in sports like badminton and soccer and getting better in a few others,” Radosevic said. “It would be awesome to say we’re the ones that brought it back in tennis.”
The Cavaliers have earned some individual state titles in recent years. Hector Nieto won a singles title in 2006, and Rafael Alvarez and Emilio Teran won the overall doubles title in 2011.
Radosevic, a junior, and sophomore Alfredo Perez, who is rated one of the top junior players in the country, will play the top two singles spots on a team that is poised to challenge defending state champion Weston Cypress Bay in Class 4A.
Dr. Krop figures to be another strong contender in Dade with its top two players — junior Alex Knight and senior Paul A’drey Pierre-Louis returning.