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When you look at a team that finished 3-17 on the season after winning two of its first five matches, one might wonder what happened in those final 15. Some may say it was an unsuccessful season, but first-year Head Coach Rick Geremia and North Branford boys' tennis brush aside those naysayers when they look back upon their 2012 campaign.
The Thunderbirds earned some hard-fought victories in their trio of triumphs this spring, defeating East Hampton 5-2 twice and earning a big "W" against Haddam-Killingworth by the score of 4-3. The squad also had excellent leadership in senior co-captains with No. 1 doubles duo Ryan Dombrowski and Joe Parisi (co-MVPs and both Second Team All-Shoreline), who qualified as a pair for the Shoreline Conference Tournament and reached the final four of the semifinals, along with additional senior experience from No. 1 singles competitor Scott Jackson and No. 2 doubles player Randy Willis.
"Our preseason objective was to be competitive in as many matches as possible, while improving the tennis abilities of all of our players," Geremia said on his team's goals heading into the season. "[Joe and Ryan] both brought tremendous work ethics, as well as strong leadership qualities to the team. The big highlight of the season was Joe and Ryan reaching the semifinals in the Shoreline Tournament."
Despite the many rough patches this year, Geremia is optimistic for his club heading into 2013 as his squad loses only four seniors and has returning three freshmen, three sophomores, and two juniors. It was a core group of underclassman in which he saw tremendous improvement while battling through the growing pains of youth.
"[Freshman] John Opie, [freshman] Manny Silva, [freshman] Jay Mavani, [junior] Dan Constantinidi [Desire and Dedication Award], and [junior] Connor Sullivan all had good seasons," Geremia said on his prime rookies from 2012. "[Sophomore No. 2 singles] Andy Westwood, [sophomore No. 3 singles] Jake Caplan, and [sophomore No. 5 singles] Phil Maresca also all improved in their second season."