Andrew and Johnny Schuller have savored this special year. Bothell’s brotherly duo played together for the first time in formal competitions. First was as members of Bothell High School’s tennis team, where Andrew was a senior and Johnny was a freshman. Then they played together at the recent Snohomish Summer Smash.
The 4th Annual Summer Smash was played at Snohomish High School on July 20-22. Sixty players from 15 high schools participated.
In the Gold Singles Division, both boys advanced to the third round before being eliminated. In the Gold Doubles Division (where they partnered), the boys advanced to the Championship round.
“It was a blessing to be able to play with Johnny this year,” Andrew Schuller said. “It was awesome, we worked well together.”
The Woodinville Weekly was there Friday July 20 to witness the second round matches. Johnny Schuller beat Samuell Oh of Kamiak 6-1, 6-0. Schuller showed an aggressive forehand shot.
“I’ve been working on it for a long time at my academy in Kirkland,” Johnny said. “I just want to get the big weapons… I like to dictate the point a lot.”
Several courts away, brother Andrew battled the lanky Lars Lagerkrans of Kamiak. Andrew Schuller prevailed 7-6, 6-2.
“It got very competitive in the first set,” Andrew said. “I started hitting it low to his feet and made it harder for him to bend down in his strike zone. That’s why it was easier to win.”
Both Schuller boys were eliminated the following day in the third round of the singles division.
But on July 21-22, the brothers comprised a doubles team that won its first two matches. They advanced to the championship round, before losing to Anuj Vimawala and Brady Thomas of Jackson.
As the 2018 summer ends, the Schuller’s will go in separate directions. Andrew recently graduated from Bothell. He’ll attend Bellevue College this fall and play tennis there. His goal is to transfer to Whitworth University and play at the Division III level.
Johnny will assume the vacated leadership spot on Bothell’s tennis team. His goal is to win the 4A State Championship in singles.
The boys said they’ll miss playing together. They grew up playing on tennis courts that were a mere two blocks from their home.
“He is a great role model,” Johnny said of Andrew. “He’s a better player than me but he’s been willing to hit with me a lot.”
Andrew felt that his greatest influence on Johnny was teaching him self-confidence.
“We’ve had a very close relationship through the years,” Andrew said. “We’ve had a special bond -- especially in playing tennis.”