Once again, Andrew Sinclair likes the makeup of his New Albany High School boys tennis team, especially its depth.

Once again, Andrew Sinclair likes the makeup of his New Albany High School boys tennis team, especially its depth.

"We go about 12 (players) deep, and all of them could play anywhere except maybe (Upper Arlington)," the fifth-year coach said. "This is a team with a little more parity, though. We're maybe not quite as top heavy as we have been in the past. It's going to be real interesting to see who starts for us in the bigger matches."

Senior John Hendrix headlines the list of returning players, and the Eagles have added promising freshman Steve Miller Jr. to a lineup that already was bringing back five Division I district qualifiers and six OCC-Capital Division champions.

Hendrix advanced to last year's state doubles final with 2010 graduate Riyad Bennoui, who now plays at Wright State. Hendrix, who is expected to remain in the doubles mix, and Bennoui lost 6-4, 6-1 to Upper Arlington's Stu Little and Billy Weldon in the state title match.

That marked the fifth consecutive season New Albany has had either an individual or doubles team qualify to a state final. Peter Kobelt, who plays for Ohio State, was a four-time finalist who captured the state singles title as a senior in 2009 and also won a Division II state doubles championship with Skyler Engel in 2007.

Hendrix and Bennoui lost to the same Upper Arlington team in last year's district final after defeating teammates Jordan Rabe and Ryan McNutt 6-2, 6-3 in a sectional final as both New Albany doubles teams advanced to district.

Rabe, a junior, also returns for the Eagles, who posted a 19-3 overall record last season and lost 3-1 to Upper Arlington in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association district-championship match.

Rabe teamed with McNutt, who graduated, to win the league title last season at first doubles. The Eagles went 7-0 and totaled 77 points to capture the OCC-Capital team title as Big Walnut (6-1, 46), Olentangy Orange (4-3, 38), Mount Vernon (4-3, 37), Delaware (4-3, 35), Hilliard Bradley (2-5, 17), Watkins Memorial(1-6, 12) and Franklin Heights (0-7, 1) followed.

All three league singles champions are back in juniors Oliver Sybert (first) and Julian Judge (third) and senior Sean Yun (second). Senior Sam Romanoff and junior Ameen Farwana return after capturing the title at second doubles.

Romanoff placed third in singles at sectional while Sybert defeated Yun 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the final as all three advanced to district.

Miller is expected to challenge for No. 1 singles for the Eagles, who open the season and OCC-Capital schedule against visiting Bradley on Thursday, March 31. The team's other newcomers include sophomores Jacob Teich and Ryan McDonald.

"We've got a lot of our team back, but we lost a big player in Riyad. He was kind of our inspirational leader, as was Ryan McNutt," said Sinclair, whose team will face Big Walnut in a first-round OTCA match, although a date has not been set. "Those are two big losses.

"Fortunately, we have some new kids ready to step in. That's the beauty of our program. It seems like we've always got someone waiting in the wings."