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It’s been a long time since anyone not named Wong won the North Bay League’s boys tennis title.

Rancho Cotate junior Josh Wong won the single tournament last week, making it back-to-back titles. His freshman year, he was Rancho’s No. 2 player, behind his brother, Alec.

Alec, now a standout at Sonoma State, was a two-time Press Democrat All-Empire Player of the Year and won the league title in his sophomore and senior years.

If the younger Wong suffered in the shadow of his older brother, it’s hard to tell now. He’s been enjoying the sunshine of late: he hasn’t lost a league match in high school.

Blain Wong, Josh’s dad and coach at Rancho Cotate, can take it one better.

“He hasn’t dropped a set in high school. Not in league matches,” he said.

He doesn’t go without a challenge. Wong is pushed by the talented duo of senior Dat Tran and junior Jim Klyce when the Cougars play Maria Carrillo, but his day-to-day workouts at Rancho don’t often provide a ton of competition. After all, the team roster is tiny.

So keeping his game sharp can prove challenging at times.

“I’m pretty much always working with the rest of the team,” Blain Wong said. “Josh is always on his own. He doesn’t really practice at the same level with the team. He’s OK with that. He’s got to be. Half the time he helps me out with the team.”

Josh Wong is OK with that.

“I play Rancho tennis because my brother played first and he represented pretty well and I wanted to keep on going with it,” he said.

“Even though we can’t fill a full team, I still have a good time out there, making friends. We only had four this year, but it was still a good group of kids. I had a lot of fun playing with them.”

But the fun is over. The North Coast Section tournament starting this Friday presents a certain amount of unfinished business for Wong.

His freshman year, he and Alec teamed up for the doubles tournament instead of duking it out for the singles’ bid. They finished fourth.

“We played the No. 1 seed in the semifinal and we went three sets with them and they both went to D1 colleges,” he said. “They were pretty solid players. We were proud of where we went.”

Last year, as a sophomore, Wong pulled out midway through his first match after he slipped and injured his wrist.

“Last year it was 5-2 in the first set and I was up and then my opponent lobbed me and I went for it and I slipped and fell on my wrist,” he said. “I tried to keep on playing. Then it was 5-5 and I served and it just really hurt. It felt like I broke it.”

A trip to the emergency room revealed a sprain. Season over.

Big brother Alec, who just wrapped up his sophomore season with the Seawolves, has kept his eye on the competition.

Seeding tends to be largely based on U.S. Tennis Association rankings, so the Wongs know full well who is out there.

“I think this year will be a tough draw,” Alec Wong said. “There are some kids out there that I know that will be pretty good. Part of it is he needs to get a good draw, especially at NCS because it’s just random.”

That said, younger brother is bringing a whole different game than he did two years ago and even last year.

“Oh, my god,” Alec Wong said. “He’s gotten so much bigger, so much stronger. He’s grown.

“I think a lot of it has to do with he’s just eating right, doing weights at school. He’s doing what he needs to do,” he said.

Alec expects to hit with Josh this week — something the younger Wong is looking forward to.

“He hits the ball big and not a lot of kids around my age hit as big a ball as him,” Josh said of his brother.

Varying the style of play is all part of Blain Wong’s preparation plan.

“We have no idea who he is playing. You have to prepare for everybody,” he said. “It’s not like the process where you know your seed.”

Or your opponent.

“It’s a crapshoot,” he said.

Coaches will gather on Friday morning to debate which players will receive the top four seeds.

After that? It’s names drawn from a hat.

That said, Blain Wong said he will press for Josh to be seeded.

“We are going to try,” he said. “I don’t expect it. It always depends on what players are out there. Last year he was close to being seeded.”

Alec Wong, who might know his brother’s game better than most, said despite a stacked field at the section tournament, it might be Josh Wong’s time to shine.

“In all honesty? If he plays his best, he has a chance to do some damage there,” the older brother said.

You can reach staff columnist Kerry Benefield at 707-526-8671 or kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield. Podcasting on iTunes and SoundCloud, “Overtime with Kerry Benefield.

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