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Frontier wins Challenge Trophy in close race

The Challenge Trophy will soon be in the hands of Frontier.
Boys tennis team closes with win

The rumor going into the boys tennis match between Hamburg and Frontier on Thursday (May 16) was that the Challenge Trophy would be decided by the match’s result that day in what amounted to the final of 27 varsity contests throughout the entire school year between the rivals.

What many years might be considered just another non-league match between the two tennis programs seemed this time would actually carry the weight of the supremacy between the two schools.

So, who could blame Frontier’s tennis players for feeling elated and celebrating like champions after a 4-1 win.

“It was like they won the U.S. Open,” said Frontier athletics director Rich Gray. “They were all jacked up.”

Gray was so excited to see the athletes taking the competition seriously and the tennis players proud that they had clinched a title for their school that he didn’t have the heart to tell them there was a slight miscalculation.

Frontier did win the Challenge Trophy, but upon further review, it had already been clinched going into that match. The two schools reinstituted the international trophy going to the winning athletics program between the rival schools after the tradition was on hiatus since the late 1980s.

The Falcons finished on top 57-48 over the Bulldogs. The tennis victory gave Frontier two additional points as the school held a 32-22 advantage in games played throughout the three seasons. Hamburg just outdid Frontier 26-25 in the scholar-athlete portion of the contest. The winning team with the higher team GPA was worth one point each.

Hamburg put on a furious comeback over the final few weeks of the spring with a softball, baseball, boys lacrosse and girls lacrosse wins, but got only so close.

“I think it’s awesome to come out on top and I’m really glad it was so close,” Gray said. “I really wanted to win it the first year. I know the coaches and the school are also proud and very happy about the result.”

Of course, it’s worth mentioning that the Frontier tennis team was led by victories for Andy Scull and Nick English in singles and the duos of Yousef Zubairi and Jacob Hurysz and Isaac Gadikian and Peter Errington in doubles.

As previously agreed upon when the Challenge Trophy was reinstated, the losing school’s athletics director, who at Hamburg is now newly-named Pat Cauley, will have to make the long walk into the winning school for its athletics awards banquet. Frontier will host its banquet on May 30 with Cauley presenting the trophy to Gray and the Falcons.
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