BURBANK — Garrett Auproux watched intently Tuesday as his Burroughs High boys' tennis team took on Arcadia with the outright Pacific League championship on the line.
Auproux had been a dominating force in singles for the Indians, winning two straight league titles and earning back-to-back All-Area Singles Player of the Year awards. But Auproux suffered a broken leg in a junior tournament March 25 and was lost for the season.
In a wheelchair Tuesday, the senior helped cheer on his teammates.
Even without its dominant singles player, Burroughs has been able to slice through the competition in the Pacific League. The Indians ended the league champaign by defeating the Apaches, 12-6, at home to secure the outright league title.
It was Burroughs' first championship since sharing the crown with Arcadia in 2010, and its first undisputed title since 2008.
"It's good to see that they were able to win it, and win it fairly easily," Auproux said about the title. "We always knew that we had four good singles players and when I got injured the three other guys just stepped up and did a good job. I think we have the best singles group in the league and that takes some pressure off of our doubles."
One of those singles players is senior Michael Whelan. He said the Indians were motivated to beat the Apaches for a second time this season because they didn't want to share the title like they had to when he was a freshman.
"We talked about that and there's no way we wanted to share that again," he said. "We had the mentality that we were able to beat them the last time at their place, so we should be able to beat them again on our home turf. We really wanted to be league champs."
Burroughs (13-0, 12-0 in league) defeated Arcadia (13-3, 10-2), 11-7, in the teams' first meeting April 9. However, in that meeting, some of the Indians were banged up and nursing injuries.
"That's what makes it so nice this time around, we are all finally healthy," Burroughs Coach Roy Bernhardt said. "It makes a big difference when guys aren't out there hobbling around and not feeling their best."
It was a dominating singles showing that helped Burroughs notch the victory this time against the Apaches, In fact, the Indians' trio surrendered just four games in nine singles sets. While No. 1 Calvin Fox went, 6-1, 6-0, 6-1, No. 2 Sawyer Patterson went, 6-1, 6-0, 6-0, and Whelan went, 6-0, 6-0, 6-1.
Patterson ended the league regular season having won all of his sets.
The Indians also received a solid performance from their No. 1 doubles team. Partners Kevin Hoang and Wen Yao Lin also earned a sweep, 6-1, 6-0, 6-3.
"When we weren't all seniors, we always wanted to win a league title for the seniors on the team," Hoang said. "This year, we got off to a great start, and despite the loss of Garrett, we were able to stay together and win as a team.…It feels great to be able to win the title, especially for us seniors."
Burroughs players will join other athletes from the league in the league preliminaries at noon Monday at Pasadena High. The finals will be Wednesday at the same venue.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun