U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Men’s tennis has announced four newcomers and nine returners to the 2017-18 roster, led by senior Max Olson, who will serve as the team’s captain.
“The Class of 2021 is a very talented group of players and we are excited to see them get through Basic Cadet Training,” said head coach Dan Oosterhous. “This is one of the strongest classes we’ve added in many years and they will be instrumental in the growth of our team over the next four years.”
Jamie Bautista, Paul Hendrix, Sean McKendree and Patrick Sklenka make up the four newcomers to men’s tennis squad. A brief description for the class of 2021 is below.
Jamie Bautista, Olympia, WA (Olympia)
Bautista comes to the Air Force Academy by way of Olympia, Washington, where he was a three-year letterman at Olympia High School. His father, Mike, and mother, Jenny, are both USAFA graduates. Bautista competed at Kalamazoo, Clay Courts and Zonals. He held a tennis recruiting national ranking of No. 210.
“Jamie Bautista is full of potential and has great hands, especially around the net” explained Oosterhous. “He has a tremendous work ethic and will be one to watch for sure this season.”
Paul Hendrix, Murrells Inlet, SC (South Carolina Connections Academy)
Hendrix comes to USAFA out of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, where he was a two-year letterman in tennis and trained at Smith-Stearns. He registered Player of the Year honors on four occasions and led his squad as the team captain. Hendrix was a recipient for the 2014 South Carolina Sportsmanship Award. He held a tennis recruiting national ranking of No. 90.
“Paul Hendrix is a rock solid player and I am most impressed with the professional demeanor he brings every time he steps on the court,” claims Oosterhous. “He will be a tough out for any team playing the Falcons.”
Sean McKendree, Norcross, GA (Norcross)
McKendree is joining the Falcons out of Norcross, Georgia, where he was a four-time letterman at Norcross High School. He was recognized as the Gwinnet County Player of the Year. McKendree is a three-time first-team all-county player. He earned team MVP honors and Gwinnett County Super Six for three years. In 2013, Mckendree was a southern doubles champion. In 2016, he was a two-time sportsmanship award winner. McKendree’s tennis recruiting national ranking was No. 214.
“Sean McKendree has a very consistent game and uses his big size well,” explained Oosterhous. “He is strong off the baseline and does a great job playing within himself.”
Patrick Sklenka, Cumming, GA (West Forsyth)
Sklenka comes to the Academy by way of Cumming, Georgia, where he was a four-year letterman at West Forsyth High School. Sklenka boasts three undefeated high school seasons along with three terms as the team captain. He earned MVP honors on three occasions. Sklenka trained at Lifetime in Peachtree Corners and is a two-time Kalamazoo competitor. He boasts a tennis recruiting national ranking of No. 54, the highest for any Air Force recruit in over a decade.
“Patrick Sklenka has an incredible passion for competing and an imposing game to go along with it,” proclaimed Oosterhous. “He has loads of talent and I’m looking forward to seeing him develop into a great college player.”
Air Force returners and the class of 2021 will open the fall season with the eighth-annual Blue-Silver scrimmage on Thursday, Aug. 31 at 2 p.m. at the Academy. The scrimmage will feature the freshman class’ first chance to compete in a college-style dual match.