There were plenty of exciting moments throughout the 2018 boys tennis season and this year has the potential to be even better.
A number of teams are bringing back some veteran players that could make the difference in a run at their respective state tournaments, while Berlin’s Jon Trevethan once again looks to be the player to beat in the area. At the same time, there are others that lost a number of quality players at the top end of their lineups, which will have to be replaced. Overall, it should be an exciting season.
Here is a closer look at the teams:
Head coach: Joe Vaverchak
Last year: 5-12
Key losses: Ali Saleh (No. 1 singles)
Key returnees: Segan Foster (junior), Sebastian Tarasiuk (sophomore), Jose Garcia (junior)
Newcomer to watch: Adam Gottner (junior, singles)
Outlook: Last season was certainly a learning experience for the Hurricanes. New Britain fielded a team that features a good amount of underclassmen in its lineup that didn’t have a lot of experience playing tennis on top of that. The team will once again be on the younger side, but head coach Joe Vaverchak will have the opportunity to work with a number of players for more than a season.
“The kids are really excited for the season,” Vaverchak said. “Only three of them know something about tennis, so it was be a lot of teaching and learning about racquet control, but it’s been a good start to the year. ”
Head coach: Mike Flannery (1st season)
Key losses: Ryan Jenkins, Thomas Fijalkowski
Expected key returnees: Jonathan Trevethan (senior, No. 1 singles), Stephen Gendreau (junior), Noah Mihalko (senior)
Outlook: Mike Flannery takes over after the expected passing of longtime head coach Rex Smith, but he inherits a roster that has a good mixture of young players and experienced veterans. Among the notables is defending Class M singles champion Jonathan Trevethan, who didn’t lose a single set during the regular season. Trevethan is perhaps the best boys tennis player in the area, and one of the best in the state. But there will other spots that have to be filled, specifically the No. 2 singles spot, which was vacated with Ryan Jenkins gradution.
Head coach: Don Lukowski (21st season)
Last year: 9-8
Key losses: Ben Arora (singles), David Magsayo (singles), Josh Ellis (doubles), Gynno Bacaoco (doubles), Dan LaSota (doubles)
Key returnees: Sean Davis (senior, singles), Sam Johnson (senior, singles), Videep Soni (junior, singles), Matt Utter (sophomore, singles), Ateeb Rahman (senior, doubles), Shihao Zhai (senior, doubles), Zack Palanza (senior, doubles), Lukas Klin (junior, doubles)
Newcomer to watch: Marc Pantano (freshman, doubles)
Outlook: The Indians lost several key seniors to graduation, including singles players Ben Arora and David Magsayo, but they also return a plethora of players who have varsity experience. Overall, head coach Don Lukowski has 25 players on the tram this spring and he is looking forward to having his team progress throughout the season.
“I’m very excited and hopeful for a very successful spring,” Lukowski said. “With senior Sean Davis and sophomore Matt Utter handling the top two singles positions, as well as many others with match experience, we look to have great depth this year down into doubles. Our goal is to make the state tournament again this year and, with the talent and experience we have, it looks to be a very achievable goal.”
Head coach: Mercurio Evangelista (7th season)
Last year: 5-10
Key losses: Jeremy Myska (No. 1 singles), Taegan Brochu (No. 2 singles), Mack Kossuth (No. 3 singles)
Key returnees: Brandon Zheng (senior, No. 1 singles), Mike Torres (senior, No. 2 singles), Travis Lavigne (junior, No. 3 singles), Jason Demmons (senior, No. 3 doubles), Jarod Serrano-Aviles (junior, No. 2 doubles)
Newcomers to watch: Jacob Demmons (sophomore, No. 4 singles), Brandon Barrette (No. 3 doubles), Andrew Laprise (No. 2 doubles), Dominic Palaia (No. 1 doubles), Kevin Rondini (No. 1 doubles)
Outlook: This will be an interesting season for the Blue Devils. The team lost its top three singles players from a season ago and has a lot of youth at a number of spots. Head coach Mercurio Evangelista knows there is going to be a slow learning curve as the season progresses and that should only help Plainville in the future.
“As always I do look forward to the season and to the growth of the players on and off the court,” Evangelista said.”
Head coach: Tony Mauro (13th season)
Last year: 12-5
Key losses: Kevin Chudy (No. 1 doubles), Jon Kryzanski (No. 1 doubles)
Key returnees: Matt Balaoing (senior), Nate Zmarlicki (senior), Mike Kwok (senior), Marek Kryzanski (junior), Andrew Kudla (junior), Tyler Heidgerd (junior), Adam Kosko (unior), Kyle Naworol (sophomore).
Newcomers to watch: Dan Pestillo (senior), Vatsa Sheth (junior), Ethan Sutton (junior), Jacob Sutton (junior), Kade Huang-Savino (junior), Will Loose (junior), Ryan Klinzmann (junior), Pio Castillano (sophomore)
Outlook: The Blue Knights turned in a competitive 2018 campaign and this year appears to be no different. Southington brings back a wealth of depth, experience and talent and figures to once again be competitive in a challenging CCC West that is also set to feature Glastonbury, Hall, Avon and Farmington, among others. The only real hole in the Blue Knights’ lineup might be at the No.1 double spot with the graduations of Kevin Chuby and Jon Kryzanski. The pair went 42-8 together over their career and will be tough to replicate. But as a whole, head coach Tony Mauro believes this season’s squad has the potential to be one of the best the school has had. It will just be a matter if the Blue Knights can put it together.