For the second consecutive year, the Valencia doubles team of Jackson Boxall and Stephen Thay walk away with the honor of being named the All-SCV Doubles Team of the Year.“I feel like all our hard work has paid off and is being shown,” Boxall said. “We had to go through a lot of mental struggles to become the players we are today and it means the world to me.”On a loaded Vikings team where all three of their doubles teams finished within the Top 5 of the Foothill League, Boxall and Thay were constantly pushed to their limits facing their teammates in practice.“Going in every day and competing against such strong competitors in practice just shows how much depth we have and how many strong teams that we put out,” Boxall said. “Everyone just played their hearts out and I’m proud of everyone that made the list.”As a sophomore-senior combo the two Vikings grew their chemistry over the years after Boxall transferred to Valencia from West Ranch.“The transfer was always in my mind when we were playing, but I never focused on that too much,” Boxall said. “I just wanted to win and I thought Stephen was a great fit.”Winning the Foothill League doubles title after beating the No. 1-seeded West Ranch doubles team, Jake Anderson and Aristo Turalakey, Boxall and Thay picked up their rackets again at the CIF-Southern Section Boys Tennis Sectionals.“We knew we had a huge target on our backs being the defending (league) champions and all that,” Boxall said. “To handle the pressure, we put together a more IQ-based playing style instead of playing with power by using our head instead of just smacking the ball.”Falling in the Round of 32, Boxall and Thay made it through to the second day of play and were the last doubles team from the Santa Clarita Valley standing at sectionals.Thinking back on the year, Thay is content that he was able to have such a successful playing career with Boxall and will always remember the time shared on and off the court.“It’s hard to pick just one memory because of how many times Jackson and I have been successful as a team,” Thay said. “I would say it has to be warming up with Jackson during practice and being able to play a couple rounds with him is just a great experience.”
Jake Anderson, senior and Aristo Turalakey, senior, West RanchThe No.1 doubles partners throughout the year in the Foothill League, Anderson and Turalakey headed into Foothill League finals undefeated in league play. After taking down the defending champions Boxall and Thay in the regular season, the Wildcats’ duo pushed the Vikings’ No. 1 doubles team to a third and final set, but fell 10-4, good for a second-place Foothill League finish.Sam Kim, senior and Brent Lim, junior, ValenciaKim and Lim were the No. 4-seeded doubles partners and moved onto the Foothill League semis after a heated quarterfinals match against West Ranch’s Marcel Contin and Robert Kim in which the Valencia pair won 6-4, 6-2.Chan Gi Kim, senior and Ian Cho, junior, ValenciaAs the final Valencia doubles team to make the list, Kim and Cho were in constant competition with their Vikings counterparts. Heading into Foothill League Prelims, Kim and Cho were slated with the No. 3 seed and fell to eventual champions Boxall and Thay in the semis.
Canyon – Aiden Kutcher and Anton Katona Golden Valley – Javi Gonzalez, junior and Chris Guerra, junior Hart – Daniel LaForteza, senior and Jeremy Killian, senior Saugus – Justin Stanford and Sean O’Connell West Ranch – Marcel Contin, senior and Robert Kim, senior
A native Angeleno, Diego is a sports aficionado that has played and covered multiple sports since he was a child. He is a graduate of California State University, Northridge and is a sports writer for The Signal.