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Boys Tennis: 2013 Downriver League season preview (PHOTOS)

Carlson junior Brendan Robillard will be back on the court again this season for the Marauders.

Woodhaven's Matt Dee will be on the Warriors' No. 1 doubles team this fall.

As the 2013 tennis season gets underway, the Trenton Trojans will be battling for their third consecutive Downriver League title.

One obstacle the Trojans will have to overcome, however, is the loss of last year’s No. 1 singles player Grant Dukus, who opted to play AAA hockey in what would have been his senior season on the court.

Likely stepping into the No. 1 singles spot will be senior Brett Murray, who played No. 2 singles in 2012. Also playing singles this year will be senior Justin Dunn and sophomore Parker Dukus, who is Grant’s younger brother.

Doubles candidates will be seniors Michael Kinney and Ben Martenson, along with juniors Quinn Preston, Alex Macleod and Dustin Kane.

As for another run at the DRL title, Trenton Coach Rich Menzel said he believes his squad will compete for its third straight crown, despite losing its No. 1 singles player.

“We still should be decent,” Menzel said. “I think it will probably be between us and probably Gibraltar Carlson.”

The Trenton season opens Thursday with a meet at home against Cabrini.

Carlson

Last season Carlson made it to the state finals for the first time ever. With eight returning players this year, including all four singles, Coach Rocco Giorgi’s squad is equipped to get back in 2013.

Returning this year for the Marauders are seniors Nathan Gregory, Kyle Sanderson, Andrew Anderson and Zachary Yaeger. Juniors making their way back to the Carlson court are Brendan Robillard, Anthony Martucci, Jay Morningstar and Nathan Skuratovich.

Aside from reaching the state finals this fall, Giorgi said there is some business the Marauders would like to take care of along the way.

“The goals of the season are to compete for the Downriver League title, as well as to compete for the regional title, which in turn will help us qualify for the state finals again,” he said.

Carlson’s first scheduled action of the season is Aug. 29 in the Jaguar Classic at Allen Park.

Wyandotte

Coming off a trip to the Division 2 state finals last season, Roosevelt Coach Patrick Haley has a few of his top players back for the 2013 campaign.

At No. 1 singles for the Bears will be Connor Vellmure, a senior who was part of the No. 1 doubles team a year ago. Senior Taylor Vanhollebeke should move up from No. 3 singles last year to No. 2 singles this year.

Also competing for singles spots will be senior Matt Baker and juniors Sam Head and Mike Pugh.

Haley said the No. 1 doubles team would likely be sophomores Evan Vellmure and Matt Calhoun.

To kick off the season, the Bears will host a meet with Grosse Ile on Friday.

Woodhaven

After three years as the Woodhaven junior varsity coach, Brian Eckert has taken over the varsity squad this year, following the retirement of longtime coach Tim Coleman.

Fortunately for Eckert, he’s inheriting what should be a strong team in 2013.

At No. 1 singles this year, Eckert is likely to use senior Trevor Monaco. Senior Corbin DesJareines could end up at No. 2 singles or possibly No. 2 doubles, Eckert said.

Matt Dee, also a senior, will be on the No. 1 doubles team for the Warriors, with a partner yet to be determined.

Players also competing for spots this season are juniors Daniel Dayfield and Ryan Ford and sophomores Curtis Slorkowski and Drew Holland.

As the coach, Eckert said he plans to use this season to start establishing a long-term plan for success at Woodhaven.

“My goal is to win (the league), but if we keep a pipeline of freshman and sophomores coming in, and then we can coach them up, by the time they’re juniors, they will all be serviceable and very good tennis players.”

Anderson

Although Anderson lost last year’s No. 1 singles and its No. 1 doubles team to graduation, Coach Ryan Furkas is confident in the players he has to fill those roles.

Senior Grier Moore, who played No. 2 singles last year, is the favorite to earn the No. 1 singles spot this year, Furkas said. The challengers for the No. 1 doubles team are seniors Noah Massengill, Matt Cooper and Brian O’Hara.

Back for a second year on the Titans tennis squad are seniors Josh Gallagher and Matt Martin, along with juniors Austin Simpson, Ethan Antonishak, Julian Yatros and Michael Beck. Sophomore Patrick O’Hara is back for a second year on the court, as well.

“I’ll be looking for our returning players to provide great leadership,” Furkas said. “The close competition for limited varsity spots will serve as a strong motivator for all players to go at it hard every day.”

Anderson is scheduled to start its season Aug. 29 with a meet at home against Cabrini.

Allen Park

Heading into his 24th year of coaching tennis at Allen Park, Bill Riggs will have to replace six starters from last season who were lost to graduation.

Senior Brett Gice will step into the No. 1 singles spot this year, while fellow seniors Sean McMillan and Jackson Morrison will be the No. 1 doubles team.

Expected to battle for the other singles spots are junior Ryan Houck and sophomores Matt Brooks and Jacob Gariday. Vying for doubles will be juniors Chase Siddall and Brandon Lezotte.

“For losing as many players as we had, I’m really optimistic that we’re going to have a successful season,” Riggs said.

Kennedy

This season, Kennedy Coach Phil Somerville has three returning seniors vying for the No. 1 singles spot.

The three players aiming for the top spot are Kevin Hernandez, Nathan Brang and Matt Woloszyk.

Also looking to earn a place in the Eagles’ lineup is senior Jacob Houser and Nick Mueller.

Somerville said he’s hoping some of the new players this year will come on strong to give his team a shot at competing in the DRL.

“I think at the top of my lineup I should still be okay, it’s going to be filling in the bottom of the lineup to see how much depth I have.” he said.

The Eagles’ season gets underway Thursday morning in a tournament at Dearborn High School.

Lincoln Park

At Lincoln Park this fall, Coach Rodger Gillard has two juniors and a senior set to lead the way in singles competition.

Junior Isiah Morel will play No. 1 singles and junior Nate Smith will play No.2 singles for the Rails. At No. 3 singles will be senior Nick Orman. Gillard said the No. 4 singles spot was still open, as of last week.

At No. 1 doubles for the Rails will be seniors Jason Marcoux and Rob Atwater . At No. 2 doubles will be junior Norm Green and sophomore Duncan Nadal.

Gillard said he expects this year’s Lincoln Park team to be more competitive than last year. However, he said being a small program, with no junior varsity, sometimes puts the Rails at a disadvantage against other DRL teams.

I’ll be better than last year, but it’s tough in this league,” he said “All of these other teams all have JV experience.”

Lincoln Park is scheduled to open its tennis season Aug. 29 at the Jaguar Classic at Allen Park High School.

Truman

The new boys’ tennis coach this fall at Truman is Meghan Harple, who was hired on Aug.14, the first day practice officially began.



Last Updated: 8/20/2013 2:59:34 PM EST

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