Carlos Bermudez found himself in an interesting spot the week high school tennis started.
A two-time defending state champion, a top-40 national recruit and an Arizona Wildcat signee, Bermudez should have been on the courts with his Palo Verde teammates preparing for his senior season.
Instead, the courts at Palo Verde were quiet. Too quiet.
"There was a little problem," Bermudez said. "No one went out for the team. We only had three guys. We didn't have enough guys for a team."
What was Bermudez's next move?
"I just went around, asked my friends. The other guys that came out did the same thing," Bermudez said. "I really didn't know if there was going to be a team. Then, all of a sudden, everyone signed up, and we had a team."
The Titans, led by Bermudez, of course, beat Cholla 8-1 on Tuesday afternoon for a good start to their delayed season.
Bermudez won his singles match 6-0, 6-0 and combined with Jason Sprouse to win his doubles match 8-2.
Neither of those results should be a surprise.
Bermudez has dominated the high school tennis scene the past two years, beating his brother, Dominic, in the state championship match, the past two years.
Dominic is now playing collegiately at NAU while little brother will rule the prep courts for one more season.
The two are still in constant touch, though.
"He's texting me right now, actually," Bermudez said laughing. "He wants my racket since I'm getting a new one."
Carlos can help out Dominic now that he doesn't have to worry about big brother lingering in the state tournament.
"I actually liked facing him," Carlos said. "The first year I played him, I lost to him for the lineup for our team, and I played No. 2 all year.
"I was pissed. I kept saying to him, 'wait until state.' I got him back, and it was always fun to face him there."
Now, he's someone else's problem.
Before he joins the Wildcats next season, Bermudez is looking to win another state crown. Something he thought he may not have the chance to do before he helped form a team at Palo Verde.
"I always wanted to play my senior year, and it would have been tough to have to sit it out," Bermudez said. "I'm excited for our team."
No hits in 13 innings
Tanque Verde senior pitcher Mark Harris has started his season in improbable fashion.
The right-hander has tossed three straight no-hitters. Two of them were four-inning no-hitters, and the third was five innings.
Harris has pitched 13 innings total this season and hasn't allowed a hit, posting a 3-0 record.
"He'll face some better competition coming up, but he's been throwing it pretty well," Tanque Verde coach Jim Lawwill said.
The wins came against Ajo, Queen Creek Canyon State Academy and Patagonia. Tanque Verde outscored those three teams by a combined 49-0.
Ex-Lancer wins golf event
Former Salpointe Catholic golfer Alex Johnson, who now plays at University of Pacific, won the Fresno State Lexus Classic in a playoff earlier this week.
Johnson was down one stroke with one to play and birdied the final hole to force a playoff with UC-Irvine's Bryan Harris.
The two battled for five holes before Johnson eventually sank a 20-foot birdie putt to win the tournament.
It's his first tournament championship this season and second of his career.
His 54-hole score was a 6-under 210.