Gabriel Sardo has a chance to do big things at Oswego.
He's off to quite a start.
Sardo was second at sectionals last year as a freshman, and won one match in the back draw at the state tournament to finish 23-8.
This spring, he's taken it to another level.
Sardo, now a sophomore, won the No. 1 singles title at the Geneva Invite this past weekend. Sardo beat Wheaton Academy's Jacob Williams 6-3, 6-0 in the final for his 10th win of the year.
"He is a stud," Oswego coach Ryan Parr said. "He will be a special player not just for Oswego, but for the whole Southwest Prairie Conference."
Sardo already has avenged losses from last year against Alex Bergendorf of Glenbard South and Manny Campuzano of Minooka, both in straight sets.
"He is a totally different player from last year," Parr said. "His fitness level is up, his focus is there and he's really driven. It's cool to watch. That first match against the Glenbard South kid that he lost to last year, he absolutely rolled him. It's obvious that he put in a whole bunch of time and energy and effort into his game."
Oswego as a team won its first six duals, before dropping one to Batavia Monday.
The Panthers' No. 1 doubles team of junior Nikolai Sardo and senior Darren Li took a 6-3 record into this week. Li went to state last year with another doubles partner.
"Two great leaders on the team," Parr said. "Darren, especially, is our senior leader. Everybody looks up to him and respects him."
At No. 2 doubles juniors Ryan Lemerman and sophomore Stefan Ninic are 6-0 going into this week, the signature win a three-setter over Minooka. Oswego's No. 3 doubles team of junior Mason Lesak and sophomore Riley Kiesewetter was also 6-0 going into this week, with three of their matches either going to a third set tiebreaker or full third set.
Parr expects the SPC race to be quite competitive as the season progresses.
"It's going to be a battle," Parr said. "Oswego East is stacked, Plainfield North played us close, Minooks is very good and Plainfield East is up and coming. We still have a lot of work to do."