H.S. boys' tennis / 2018 preview capsules
ECC Division I
Coach: Susan Welshock (10th year)
Key returnees: Sr. Davon Chen, Jr. Eric Gu, So. Finn Power, Jr. Sumeet Kadian, Sr. Conrad French, Jr. Jonathan Tan, So. Ethan Stewart.
Top newcomers: Fr. Sujesh Kurumbail, Fr. Guillem Colon.
Outlook: The Vikings were perfect last season (14-0 overall) in winning their 11th straight ECC divisional title. They return ECC doubles champions Chen and Gu, along with other veterans in singles and doubles. Welshock was using the preseason determine her lineup, but said she is excited to have freshmen Kurumbail and Colon join the mix.
Coach: Andrew Small (2nd year)
Key returnees: Sr. Chris Russo, Jr. Noah Kennedy, Jr. Max Carter, Jr. Aidan Sullivan, Sr. Mathew Krick.
Top newcomers: Jr. Ron Pfisterer, Fr. Alexander Johnson, Fr. Camden Celtruda.
Outlook: The Falcons suffered some graduation losses, losing their top two singles players and No. 1 doubles team, but Small still expects Fitch to be competitive in the division. Russo, Kennedy, Carter, Sullivan and Krick all have experience while Small said freshmen Johnson and Celtruda will be in the doubles mix.
Coach: Jay Bazinet (15th year)
Key returnees: Sr. Nate McCracken, Sr. Jack Woodruff, Sr. Brandon Donovan, Sr. Will Reynolds, Sr. Chris Charette, Sr. Trevor Hutchins.
Top newcomers: Sr. A.J. Hoth, Sr. Jakob Maranzano, Sr. Nick DeAndrea, Sr. Terry Zhao.
Outlook: If there's one team that could challenge East Lyme in Division I, look no further than the Colonels, a senior-laden team that is coming off 12-3 season and returns their No. 1 singles player (McCracken) and No. 1 doubles team (Charette-Hutchins), both ECC Division I all-stars a year ago. Bazinet said this kind of senior experience "should lead to good things."
Coach: Jay Berard (1st year)
Key returnees: Sr. Allan Feng, Sr. Neil Henostroza.
Outlook: The Wildcats went 7-7 a year ago, but lost its top five players to graduation. Feng and Henostroza will occupy the top two singles spots, Berard said, and seven first-time players will battle for the other singles and doubles positions. Berard said NFA is "eager to learn and improve," and their development will determined the level of success they achieve.
ECC Division II
Coach: John Adriano (4th year)
Key returnees: Sr. Ben Anderson, Sr. Sam Snediker, Jr. Sean Bessette, Jr. William Michelson, Jr. Kyle Remmert, Jr. Jacob Stiger, So. Filip Aubrecht, So. Alex Mann.
Top newcomers: Jr. Jack Ramsdell, Jr. Matt Santacroce, Fr. Quinn Hamilton.
Outlook: The Bears are coming off an impressive 14-1 season and the Division II title, and return a pair of ECC all-star singles players in Stiger and Michelson. Anderson and Remmert were ECC doubles all-stars, too, but each graduated a partner. Still, Adrian won't take anything for granted as he works on settling on a lineup for 2018. "We had a successful season last year," he said, "but that will not help us this year. You still have to play the matches."
Coach: Ralph DiSaia (16th season)
Key returnees: Sr. James Zhu, So. Fadi Hage, Jr. Alexander Watterson, Jr. Robert Sammataro.
Top newcomers: Jr. Elias Picinich, So. Ateeb Mirza, Fr. Kevin McEntarfer, Fr. Julian Perez.
Outlook: The Lancers were hit hard by graduation, including the loss of ECC doubles finalists Adam Pinch-David Perez, but DiSaia still thinks Waterford will field another competitive team in 2018. Zhu and Hage will play in the top two singles spots while Watterson and Sammataro will be key doubles players. "This will be a chance for the underclassmen to get a chance to show what they can do and prepare for the future," DiSaia said.
ECC Division III
Coach: Meg Fournier (1st year)
Key returnees: Jr. Ryan Gallagher, Jr. Jason Chen, Jr. C.J. Jaskiewicz.
Outlook: Fournier returns to lead the program after a five-year break from coaching and is looking forward to getting the Indians back on track. Gallagher will play No. 1 singles, Chen No. 2 and Jaskiewicz No. 3. "We have a great group of boys this year," said Fournier. "They're willing to work hard and take direction. I'm looking forward to an improving season for us."
Coach: Andrew Morse (1st year)
Key returnees: Jr. Kyle Keefe, Sr. Jordan Cai.
Top newcomer: Fr. Owen Ou.
Outlook: Morse takes over a program that graduated five seniors, including four-time ECC singles champion Alex Zuczek, who capped his career by winning the Class S state championship. Keefe and Ou will play key singles roles for St. Bernard, which won the Division III title a year ago, and Morse still expects the Saints to be competitive within the division.
Coach: Linda Bonadies (1st year)
Key returnees: Jr. Reese Berman, Jr. Alexandros Tsipouras, So. Devin Shah, Sr. Miles Schuman, Sr. Alec Potts.
Outlook: Bonadies, an assistant at Hamden High the past two seasons, takes over at Williams, which will be led by Berman, who moves into the No. 1 singles spot following the graduation of Jon Powell. "We are looking forward to a solid season with a group of strong returning players," Bonadies said. "We also have a large group of younger, developing players."
Stories that may interest you
Caelan Desmond, a senior at The Williams School, has been sailing since she was 6. She will attend Wesleyan University and major in neuroscience.
New London High School baseball coach Matt Greene, who was set to take over for his first season this year, finds that the longer he's around the game, the more he learns.
Old Lyme senior Nick Fava will major in engineering at Purdue University. Slated to play first doubles this year for the Wildcats' boys' tennis team, Fava is an All-Shoreline Conference first team selection and a CIAC scholar-athlete pick.
Said Old Lyme Unified Sports advisor Christine Corah: "They're such a silver lining on your hardest days. You bring together a group of students that might not interact with each other. It gave you a whole different sense of purpose."