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High School Boys Tennis Outlook: Hamburg seeing improvement on court

Wesley Ireland returns as Hamburg’s top singles player. (Photo courtesy of David Eckhardt)
Joe Tretter is entering his third season as boys tennis coach at Hamburg and already this year’s team is faring better than the previous two combined.

Led by five seniors and some quality younger players already making an impact, the Bulldogs have started 3-1 in ECIC Division II with wins over West Seneca East, Iroquois and Starpoint. Their only loss is to perennial-power Williamsville East.

“We’re a much improved team this year due to our senior players and a good influx of young talent,” Tretter noted.

Returning in the top singles spot is senior captain Wesley Ireland. The other singles positions will be held by youngsters Adam Lanfear, a freshman at No. 2, and Greg O’Brien, a sophomore at No. 3. Senior Andrew Beiter and seventh grader Brian Beck are playing first doubles and at second doubles are seniors Mitch Madden and Mitch Courtney. The lineup is rounded out by senior Trevor Lavis, eighth grader Kyrill Calkins and freshman Dan Purcell.

Elsewhere, with a pair of tournaments scheduled for this spring and six of seven players from last year’s starting lineup returning, Lake Shore has an exciting season ahead.

Once a standout doubles team as younger players, seniors Jon Weber and Connor Govenettio now bring a wealth of talent to the singles group. Weber will again play in the top spot and Govenettio at No. 2. They’ll be joined by sophomore Gabe Carruth at third singles.

The top doubles team on the squad is senior Danny Abrams and sophomore Alec Lezama, followed by the second team of senior Mitchell Considine and sophomore Max Matthews.

The Eagles hope to defend their Sweet Home Invitational title this week and will also play in the inaugural Depew Doubles Invitational later in the season. During a 2-2 start to the ECIC Division III season, the Eagles nearly knocked off unbeaten Amherst, losing 3-2.

“I plan for the squad to be competitive like that in all of our matches this year,” Lake Shore head coach Chris Ignatowski said.

Also, Frontier has begun the season with a 4-1 win over West Seneca West in ECIC Division I action and escaped with a 3-2 victory over Eden in an inter-division match. Junior Andy Scull won the deciding match against Eden, 7-6, 6-4, at No. 3 singles.

Playing in the top singles spot for Frontier is senior Alec Falk, followed by sophomore Nick English at No. 2. Playing in the top doubles spot will be seniors Yousef Zubairi and Jacob Hurysz and senior Peter Errington and sophomore Isaac Gadikian are at No. 2. The Falcons have begun division play 1-3.

St. Francis is looking to become more competitive this season thanks to the addition of an athletic freshmen class of four and the return of two varsity players from last season.

The Red Raiders return three-year varsity player, senior Gabe LaMarca, in the first singles role. Freshmen Luke Dillsworth and Gavin Hurley, will begin the season as second and third singles players, respectively. LaMarca will be called upon to face the Monsignor Martin’s best, while helping to lead the squad’s younger players.

Seniors Aaron Pawlak and Mike Meng will lead the doubles teams. Pawlak will play with his younger brother, Jason, a sophomore, and Meng with Ohio-transfer Andrew Anderson. These four players give St. Francis some depth and flexibility, which has been missing over the past few seasons, according to coach Andy Lanigan.

Also, senior Christian Cavalieri will add depth coming off the bench. St. Francis also has another brother tandem with junior Cordell Turner and freshmen Chadd Turner. St. Francis opened with a 5-0 loss to defending MMAA champion Nichols, but as his team came off the court, Lanigan liked what he heard from his players.

“They kept telling the coaches, ‘Next time will be a different story, can’t wait to play that kid again,’” Lanigan added. “With that attitude, its going to be a good year.”


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