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2012 All-SCV Boys Tennis Singles Player of the Year J.R. Macalutas: Textbook Viking

Senior finished his second straight dominant season to earn another top singles honor

Posted: June 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Valencia senior J.R. Macalutas won the Foothill League singles crown for the second time in his career this season.

 

J.R. Macalutas is the perfect embodiment of everything we’ve come to expect from Valencia Vikings tennis — efficient, ice-cold dominance.

The senior not only served as the program’s right-hand-man for the past two seasons, but his nearly unparalleled success has meant that even one of Santa Clarita’s most dominant and reloadable high school programs can’t afford to lose him.

For this reason, and so many more, both tangible and intangible, Macalutas is The Signal’s selection for All-Santa Clarita Valley Boys Tennis Singles Player of the Year for a second straight season.

The senior compiled his best season yet, an accomplishment in and of itself for a player who finished on the All-Foothill League team for a third straight season.

Macalutas posted a 30-0 record on the way to his second Foothill League singles title in three seasons. Additionally, the senior’s performance this past season clinched a second straight undefeated run through league and brought his career Foothill League singles record to a gaudy 81-1.

Compounded by his landmark numbers, Macalutas advanced to the second round of CIF-Southern Section Division II Individuals for the second straight season, this time in singles.

Yet, perhaps even more outstanding than the senior’s individual achievements was Valencia’s team success this year.

According to Vikings head coach Annie Kellogg, a large part of that success has to be contributed Macalutas’ enhanced role as a team leader.

While Macalutas entered the season as the clear-cut favorite to dominate the Foothill League, teammates Joey Fernicola and Chris Pope entered the season as Valencia’s primary question marks due to their lack of varsity singles experience.

By season’s end, Macalutas had helped transform Fernicola and Pope into the league’s second and third best singles players, enabling the Vikings to ride their depth to one of the most dominant runs in Foothill League history.

Now, instead of entering the 2013 season with some serious rebuilding to do, the Vikings will field the league’s most dominant singles lineup once again.

And perhaps that is the true legacy of J.R. Macalutas. For Valencia especially, great players have come and gone.

Macalutas himself served as an understudy to former Players of the Year Ben Inchalik and Tyler Gottshall.

But it’s rare that a player shares his talent as selflessly as Macalutas has these past seasons. For Valencia, that work ethic, that tireless devotion to the team-first mentality, has rubbed off on the other players.

Macalutas had a significant hand in clinching the past three Foothill League titles, but the sphere of his influence in the Valencia tennis program will undoubtedly extend years beyond 2012.

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