BEAVERTON — Avi Shugar didn’t finish the 2017 high school tennis season with the idea that it would be his last in South Eugene purple.
Then circumstances grabbed him by the tennis racket, and when school opened in September he was walking to his first classes at Portland’s Lincoln High School.
He’s still making the adjustment to the sudden transfer move.
“I was having a really good summer last year,” said Shugar, a junior who is seeded third in the Class 6A singles competition at the Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation Tennis Center. “I was just working on my game and enjoying myself. Then I started thinking about my future and what would be best for me, in tennis and in academics.
“I felt the tennis competition had weakened in Eugene. Then my coach (Paul Reber) got the job at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland. And (another coach) moved away, too.
“Lincoln has a great tennis program, and they have the International Baccalaureate program, too. I was in the International High School program at South. There wasn’t as much competition in Eugene anymore."
There is in Portland. Shugar plays at the University of Portland’s tennis academy, where he gets solid advice from Pilots coach Aaron Gross. He also gets to hit with other Portland area tennis standouts like Jesuit’s top-seeded Peter Murphy.
The city environment is still brand new to him. And sometimes he misses his old life, too.
“I really liked the small-town aspect of Eugene,” he said. “I like going to the grocery store and knowing people. It’s been a transition up here. But it’s been fun making new friends and playing up here.”
It’s also been more of the same. Last week he earned his No. 3 seed by beating Wilson’s Caden Samkutty for the city championship. On Thursday he roared back from a 4-1 second-set deficit against Will Havener of Tualatin for a 6-0, 6-4 victory and a slot in the quarterfinals.