Before winning the 2010 Central Section individual singles boys tennis title, Ryan Andrada wasn't even the best player on his own team.
After rolling through East Bakersfield's D.J. Johnson in the singles final for the second straight year, Andrada leaves El Diamante High as one of the best players in section history.
Andrada became only the fourth boy in section history -- and first in 36 years -- to win three individual singles titles following his 6-3, 6-2 defeat of Johnson on May 19. He is The Bee's Player of the Year for the second straight season.
Bakersfield's David Couch (1974-76) was the last to win three straight. Taft's Jack Lynch (1930-32) was the first, followed by Bakersfield's Bill Davidson (1964-66), according to section historian Bob Barnett.
"It's really cool to be able to do it three years in a row," Andrada said. "D.J. is a really good player. It felt good to beat him again. And it's really cool I can be compared to (the best) in all the history of Central Valley tennis."
Andrada went 115-3 in singles during his four seasons with the Miners, including a 7-6, retired victory over Bakersfield Christian's Alex Nichols for third place in the section as a freshman, a 7-6, 6-2 upset of top-seeded teammate Josh Lorentzen for the title as a sophomore and a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win over Johnson in the finals last season.
The only singles losses Andrada absorbed were to eventual champion Jeremy Quiroz of Stockdale in the individual semifinals as a freshman, and in the finals of the West Yosemite League tournament to Lorentzen during his freshman and sophomore seasons.
He also went 53-2 in doubles during a career that followed in the footsteps of fellow Miners standouts Lorentzen (two-time section runner-up) and Xavier Smith (2004 section champ).
"He turned from a one-dimensional player as a freshman to someone with an all-court game," El Diamante coach Joe Harding said. "He's dangerous in all aspects now, down to serving, volleying and his net play.
"We've been really lucky to have three superstars in a row, and Ryan's probably the last one of those we'll see for awhile. He's been really exciting to watch."
The Nevada-bound Andrada went 21-0 in singles and 11-0 in doubles as a senior, including second straight titles at the Visalia Invitational and WYL tournaments.
Andrada said his game was vastly improved this season, evidenced by his straight-sets win over Johnson in the finals after needing three sets to beat him a year ago.
"Last year, I couldn't volley that well, I wasn't very confident when I went to the net to try and finish a point," Andrada said. "This year I was able to get to the net and be comfortable up there and be more aggressive.
"The base of my game is still consistency. But I have options when things get tough. I can hit winners when I need to."
School: El Diamante
2012 record: 21-0 singles, 11-0 doubles
Career record: 115-3 singles, 53-2 doubles
He's qualified because: Became fourth player in Central Section history to win three individual singles titles, according to historian Bob Barnett, with 6-3, 6-2 victory over East Bakersfield's D.J. Johnson. Also won Visalia Invitational and West Yosemite League tournament titles for second straight season.
The reporter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
, (559) 441-6103 or @NickG_FB on Twitter.