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St. Anthony Tennis

St. Anthony’s Eryn Cayetano Wins CIF-SS Girls’ Tennis Title

St. Anthony senior Eryn Cayetano won four CIF Southern Section Girls’ Individual Tennis Championship matches this week to win the title. The top-seeded Cayetano beat Casie Wooten of Chadwick High 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 in the final on Friday night.

According to the Tennis Recruiting Network, Cayetano is ranked No. 4 in California, and No. 21 nationally, in her age group. She has traveled all over the country to play national events, but never wanted to be home schooled.

“We’ve seen a lot of kids home schooled, and there are a few factors I didn’t like,” Eryn’s dad, Ed Cayetano, said. “I don’t want her to miss her youth. With home school it’s just home and tennis. I want her to socialize and build up her character. I want her to have fun while she is young, and I’m just a dad supporting her.”

Ed wasn’t always just a dad, and coached Eryn on the tennis court from age 7-12.

“He always made sure that I treated him like a coach, and not like a father, on the court,” Cayetano said. “It was hard, because I always forgot. We tried not to take it home, but sometimes it would follow us.”

The Cayetano’s got into one memorable argument after a tournament in Arizona a few years ago. That convinced Ed that it was time to let someone else coach his daughter, and he hasn’t been to one of her matches since then.

“My wife calls me with the result, and win or lose I tell her ‘good job’,” Ed said. “I just want to keep supporting. It’s kind of tough for me, but if she’s enjoying it and it’s working out, so more power to her.”

“When I was little it did wear on our relationship,” Cayetano said of her dad being her coach. “There was times where I wouldn’t even talk to him. But, he understood that it was hurting us, and he put his trust in other coaches. That actually made us grow closer.”

Coach Dave Nowick took over to help Cayetano navigate her junior tennis career, and get her a scholarship offer from USC. Cayetano said she would love to take advantage of an opportunity to play professional tennis, but that her number one priority is getting a degree in human biology. She wants to become a physical therapist.

“I’ve been injured so many times,” Cayetano said. “Knowing how the injury happened, and how to prevent it, really interests me. My sports medicine class at St. Anthony went to the body works exhibit in California Science Center last year, and that made me fall in love with the subject more.”

Cayetano followed her family’s footsteps and enrolled at St. Anthony, but the Saints don’t have a girls’ tennis team, so she started playing golf to get the team experience. She helped the golf team win league this season, and she qualified for CIF-SS golf individuals. However, Cayetano couldn’t compete because she needed to qualify for the CIF-SS individual tennis tournament by winning the Del Rey League title for the fourth consecutive season.

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Blessed to represent St. Anthony HS these past four years. On to the next chapter… Fight On✌🏽

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.