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Downriver League 2014 boys' tennis preview PHOTO

Kyle Haboian and the Trenton Trojans seek another Downriver League and regional title this fall. News-Herald File Photo

Trenton

For the Trenton boys’ tennis team, 2013 marked its third consecutive outright league title and its third trip to the state finals in as many years.

While the No. 1 and No. 2 singles and doubles spots need to be filled this fall, Trojans Coach Rich Menzel has some familiar faces ready to step back onto the court.

Taking on the No. 1 singles role this season will be either senior Quinn Preston or junior Parker Dukus, Menzel said.

Battling it out for the No. 3 and No. 4 spots will be sophomores Kyle Haboian and Trevor Towe and freshman Brent Trela.

Last season, at No. 3 singles, Dukus won flight championships at both The News-Herald “A” Invitational and at the DRL Meet, while Preston did the same as a member of the No. 1 doubles team. As a freshman, Haboian was a regional champ at No. 4 singles.

Seniors Alec Macleod and Dustin Kane will move into the No. 1 doubles spot this year after claiming a regional title as the No. 3 team last season.

At No. 2 doubles will be the team of senior Evan Macleod and junior Colin Oakley, which served as the squad’s No. 4 duo in 2013 and finished as a regional runner up.

As of the third full week of August, Menzel said that the No. 3 and No. 4 doubles spots were still up for grabs.

Despite having to replace some key spots, Menzel said he expects his squad to be strong this year, playing in a league that will be tough.

“We should be pretty competitive, even though we lost quite a few top players from last year’s team,” he said.

“Gibraltar Carlson is one of the top teams. (Coach) Rocky Giorgi always does a great job with his kids. Wyandotte and Southgate will be very good. Allen Park will be improved and could contend. Woodhaven always has great athletes and improves as the season progresses. I expect the Downriver League to be very competitive all season and look forward to the challenge.”

Trenton is scheduled to open its season Sept. 4 at home against Woodhaven.



Carlson

Carlson headed into last year with eight returning players and went on to win a regional title and made its second consecutive appearance at the state finals.

This fall, Coach Rocco Giorgi is looking at the same amount of familiar faces, as eight players from last year’s varsity squad are back for 2014.

Senior Brendan Robillard has returned after serving as the No. 1 singles player a season ago, while last year’s No. 2 singles, senior Anthony Martucci is back, as well.

Also on the court again will be junior Hunter Shanks, who was on last year’s No. 1 doubles team and senior Jay Morningstar, who was on the No. 4 doubles team.

The entire No. 2 doubles team from 2013 is back with juniors Alexander Montroy and Joey Carrer, as is the No. 3 team of junior Patrick Hesson and senior Nathan Skuratovich.

Last year, Carrer and Montroy were News-Herald “A” champs and regional runners up, while the team of Hesson and Skuratovich won titles at both meets and was a league runner up and Morningstar won all three as part of the No. 4 team.

“The outlook is pretty high this year,” Giorgi said. “We hope to compete for a league title, as well as making another run for the state tournament. Overall the team is looking forward to the season.”

Despite the heavy presence of returners, Giorgi said every player would still have to earn a spot in this year’s lineup.

Newcomers battling for playing time in Gibraltar this year are: senior Austin Bliznik, juniors Dylan Kohair, Brendan Meadows and Jacob Thomas and sophomores Gavin Fitzgerald, Beck Morningstar and Andrew Saugrich.

The Marauders were scheduled to open the season Aug. 22 at the Kennedy Early Bird Invitational.



Anderson

A season ago, Anderson tied Carlson for second place in the Downriver League and finished second to the Marauders at regionals.

This year, despite having only 16 players as practice began, nine of the boys back on Coach Ryan Furkas’ squad already have varsity experience under their belts.

Furkas said that those experienced players would be battling it out for spots in 2014.

Competing for No. 1 singles will be seniors Austin Simpson and Christian Sampson, he said, while senior Jayson Allen and juniors Patrick O’Hara and Josue Flores were set to challenge for the other singles spots.

At No. 1 doubles will be Ethan Antonishak, but a partner was yet to be decided, Furkas said.

Last season, Antonishak teamed up with Simpson at No. 2 doubles to win titles at the News-Herald “B” tournament, the league meet and the regional meet. Also, Sampson and O’Hara were regional champs in 2013 at No. 3 and No. 4 singles, respectively.

Players that are looking to make the doubles lineup this year include seniors Jacob Ridenour, Julian Yatros and Michael Beck, Furkas said.

Also competing to make either the singles or doubles lineup are juniors Brandon Branstator, Zack Kusiak and Austin Wallace, senior Justin Theek and sophomores Joe Cashmer and Michael Cooper.

“The competition for these spots should be exciting to watch all season,” Furkas said.

The Titans were scheduled to get the season started at the Kennedy Early Bird Invitational on Aug. 22



Allen Park

As the 2014 season gets started, Allen Park Coach Bill Riggs will be relying on some young players to get the job done.

However, it will be a strong group of Jaguars taking the court this year, he said.

“We will have anywhere between three to six freshmen in our starting lineup this season,” Riggs said. “We have a talented group of ninth graders to compliment some returnees with a lot of varsity experience. We will have some growing pains, but hopefully by mid-October we will have the kinks worked out.”

Scheduled to be at No. 1 singles for Allen Park is freshman Jacob Riggs, with junior Brett Dice at No. 2 singles, junior Matt Brooks at the No. 3 spot and freshman Trevor Hanlon at No. 4.

In doubles action, senior Brandon Lezotte and sophomore Cameron Chabot are set to be the No. 1 pair, with seniors Max Joarder and Dan Blaikie as the No. 2 team. Juniors David Porter and Tyler Smith will be in the No. 3 spot and junior Jacob Garibay and freshman Luke Zachny will be the No. 4 duo for the Jags.

Allen Park was set to open its season Aug. 21 against Milan.



Woodhaven

The confidence level is high in Woodhaven this fall as several talented players have returned from last season’s team.

Of the 12 regular starters in the 2013 lineup, only three players were lost to graduation.

Coach Brian Eckert said that his singles lineup this year will feature Bryce Page, Remington Sancho and Matt Miller. Eckert said all three players have been in the Woodhaven system for several years and are all outstanding athletes.

Cory Louria and Connor MacDonell will be the No. 1 doubles team, he said, while Ryan Ford, Daniel Dayfield, Kyle Moran, Evan Artress, Eddie Cach, Oscar Mota and Curtis Florkowski are all strong players who will be in the mix this fall.

“We've had a lot of kids work very hard over the summer and for the past couple of years and we're starting to create the atmosphere where our players continue to play after practice because they enjoy the game so much,” Eckert said.

“Once again, we feature mostly juniors on our team, so this may be the start of a very strong wave of talented Woodhaven teams that the Downriver League has to worry about for the next couple years.”

The Warriors were scheduled to open their season Aug. 22 at the Kennedy Early Bird Invitational.



Kennedy

This fall, Kennedy will head into action with a team that features a combination of experienced players and newcomers.

Senior Michael Wright will be back with the Eagles for 2014 and Coach Phil Somerville said he will take on the No. 1 singles role.

Also returning to the court for Kennedy will be seniors Chris Saul and Alex Persondek, along with juniors James Edwards and Aman Patel.

Battling it out for spots on the varsity squad will be senior Justin Yax, along with juniors Bailey Hodges, Mark Kemp and Joey Marciniak and freshmen Logan Webber and Anthony Williams.

“Our team is a mix of experienced and new players,” Somerville said. “My hope is that our team will improve as the season goes on in order to gain experience for the future.”

On Aug. 22, the Eagles were scheduled to host the Early Bird Invitational.



Roosevelt

This fall, Roosevelt Coach Patrick Haley will have some talented, returning players at the top of his lineup.

Senior Sam Head will be at the No. 1 singles spot, a season after finishing as league runner up at No. 2 singles.

Back at No. 1 doubles this year will be juniors Evan Vellmure and Matt Calhoun. In 2013, the duo captured a regional championship as the Bears’ No. 1 team.

Haley said that juniors Mike Pugh, Tyler Stepaniak and Jake Theisen will also be in the Roosevelt lineup this year.

The 2014 campaign was set to kick off Aug. 22 for Roosevelt at Kennedy’s Early Bird Invitational.

Lincoln Park

After 15 years under veteran Coach Roger Gillard, the Lincoln Park tennis team will go forward with a new head man this season.

Taking over for Gillard, who retired after the 2014 spring season, is Rob Cundy.

As Cundy heads into the new campaign, he will have some experienced players on the court, but he said he’s hoping more athletes will still come out for the team.

Three seniors are set to step into singles spots this year, with Isaiah Morel at No. 1, Nate Smith at No. 2 and Joe Decoster at No. 3. In the No. 4 singles spot will be junior Jacob Leclaire.

In doubles action, some of the players Cundy will look to are senior Norman Green and juniors Ryan Curtis, Duncan Hunter and Joey Pascoe.

Lincoln Park is scheduled to start its season Sept. 3 at Ypsilanti Lincoln.











Last Updated: 8/23/2014 7:28:19 PM EST

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