In the 46 years Indiana has conducted a postseason state tournament in boys tennis, a surprisingly low sum of programs (16) have been able to call themselves champion.
Four appear on Center Grove’s 2013 regular-season schedule. It’s also possible for others to stand across the net from the Trojans at upcoming weekend invitationals.
Longtime Center Grove coach Ivan Smith realized long ago that straight-setting overmatched opposition en route to 5-0 triumphs does nothing for the overall product. He therefore makes it an annual practice to skip over powder puff and go directly to powder keg.
“We’ve always tried to add teams, and in some years it helps make us better. In some cases it might not give us a very good record, but I’ve been doing this too long to be worried about records,” said Smith, 64, who since taking over the program in 1977 has twice achieved the summit — in 2001 and 2008.