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2018 Mercury-Area Boys Tennis Preview

Boyertown

Head coach: David Burkert, 24th season.

Last year’s record: 6-5 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 7-5 overall.

Players to watch: Joe Corcoran, Sr., singles; Bryan Henninger, Sr., doubles; Josh Shapin, Sr., doubles; Colin Brisbois, Jr., doubles; Ryan Burkhardt, Jr., doubles; Chris DeCocinis, Jr., singles; Derek Dierolf, Jr., doubles.

Outlook: Corcoran is slated to play first singles in the Bears’ ladder. … “As always, our goals are to work hard, get better, and have fun,” Burkert said.

Daniel Boone

Head coach: Garry Lucas, seventh season.

Last year’s record: 1-6 Berks Conference, 2-13 overall.

Players to watch: Griffin Adams, Sr., singles; Cole Reinert, Sr., singles; Dan Schaeffer, Sr., singles; Cooper Duffie, Jr., singles; Andrew Tran, Jr., singles; Austin Harris, So., doubles; Riley Houck, So., doubles.

Outlook: The strength of the Blazers’ lineup is at the first two singles positions. Adams is back at No. 1 singles for the Blazers for the fourth consecutive year, and fellow captain Reinert is returning at second singles. Schaeffer will play the 3 spot after playing at 4 last season. ,,, The addition of newcomer Duffie has Lucas believing Boone can up its win total significantly. “Our team is ready to compete,” he said. “We’ve been playing during the winter and we’re excited about getting full-swing into the season. Our strengths include good leadership from our seniors and being a very fit team. It will be key for us to remain positive in order to be competitive.”

Hill School

Head coach: Clarence Oliver, fourth season.

Last year’s record: 10-3 overall.

Players to watch: Chase Clemens Sr., singles;  Saisiddarth Domala, Sr., singles; Timir Solanki, Sr., singles; Matt Wasserman, Sr., singles; Song Fan, Jr., singles; Russell Marinari, So., singles.

Outlook: The Blues’ ladder will have Wasserman, Domala, Marinari, Solanki, Clemens and Fan going 1-6 in that order. … “We’re not as strong as last year — a  strong middle order of last year will have to play one or two places higher this year, due to 2017 graduations,” Oliver said. “We should be competitive, though. Domala and Marinari had no losses in 2017, but played at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. This year, it will be tougher playing one up.”

Methacton

Head coach: Jill Walker, seventh season.

Last year’s record: 11-0 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 13-4 overall.

Players to watch: Krishna Suraesh, Sr., singles; Jeremy Wang, Sr., doubles; Max Markowitz, Jr., singles; Harsha Santhanam, Jr., singles; Eli Smith, Jr., doubles; Adam Zhang, Jr., singles.

Outlook: The Warriors’ doubles bracket lists the returning duo of Markowitz and Suraesh in the first spot, and Aaron Zhang and Saket Gokhale in the second spot. The third team will be Smith and Wang. … “We have seven returning players from our varsity squad from last season, which is helpful to have the experience” Walker said, “However, we lost our top two players in our lineup from last season. Everyone will have to move up this season; and two of our doubles players from last season will be moving into singles, which will be a whole new experience for them. We hope to be as competitive as we have been the past few seasons, and are hoping to have some good competitive matches against some of the non-league schools we lost to last season.”

Norristown

Head coach: Bill McKown, seventh season

Last year’s record: 1-10 Pioneer Athletic Conference and overall.

Players to watch: Reuben Guntipally, Sr., singles.

Outlook: It is anticipated Guntipally will play first singles for the Eagles. … “Our goal this year is to try something new each match and get better each week,” McKown said. “We also hope to use our athleticism to attack the net and affect game play.”

Owen J. Roberts

Head coach: Jerry Styer, 19th season.

Last year’s record: 9-3 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 9-5 overall.

Players to watch: Logan Baker, Sr.; Trey Campbell, Sr.; Matt Snyder, Sr.; Gavin Brown, Jr.; Nico DiStephano, Jr.; Ben Fuertsch, Jr.; Jacob Griste, Jr.; Brandon Sawicki, Jr.; Colin Stauffer, Jr.; Ryan Angelo, So.; Jimmie Chen, So.; Jake Gallagher, So.; Riley Gunther, So.; Alex Hanna, So.; Sam Savage, So.; Jason Sawicki, Fr.

Outlook: The Wildcats have a 35-player roster this fall. … “A fairly young team, decent amount of talent,” Styer said. “As always, we will play our matches and try to improve our record from last season. The singles challenges are being played out, dealing with weather; as it looks, it appears that Sam Savage and Jason Sawicki are going to be at 1 and 2, to be determined. We had eight boys challenging for the three singles spots. As they are eliminated from the competition, we intensify the doubles challenges, to be determined mainly among those returning players.”

Perkiomen School

Head coach: David Pandl, first season.

Last year’s record: Not available.

Players to watch: William Woolley, Fr., singles.

Outlook: Pandl takes over the Panther program from Fernando Perez, becoming its third different head coach in as many years. … Pandl says Woolley is “likely” to be Perkiomen’s first singles player at the start of the season. “Beyond that, I have to see the players hit outside one more time to make final determinations,” he said. “I’m just getting the lay of the land.”

Perkiomen Valley

Head coach: Derek Pongras, second season.

Last year’s record: 6-5 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 6-6 overall.

Players to watch: Ryan Shayer, Sr.; Farraz Haider, Jr.

Outlook: It’s believed Shayer and Haider will be the Vikings’ top two players this year. … “This year, we are looking forward to being competitive in the PAC,” Pongras said. “Last year, we were .500 in our matches, and we are looking to improve on that record. In addition, we have a number of new players this year, so we are looking forward to bringing some new players onto the team for future years.”

Phoenixville

Head coach: Ricardo Saad, second season.

Last year’s record: 9-2 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 10-3 overall.

Players to watch: Graham Light, Sr., singles; Luke Morris, Sr., doubles; Eric Nascari, Sr., doubles; Joe Viale, Sr., doubles; Nick Deluca, Jr., doubles; Andy Holmberg, Jr., singles; Daniel So., Jr., doubles; J.T. Stevens, Jr., singles; Anthony Deluca, Fr., doubles.

Outlook: While the Phantoms number 43 players between their varsity and junior-varsity ranks, they are without top 2017 players Mike Ellis, the PAC singles tournament runner-up, and Chris Lenning. … “We are truly missing them,” Saad said of the duo, who were atop the team’s singles and doubles brackets last spring. “We do have excellent players from last year’s junior varsity that can make the lineup. They are currently playing challenge matches and trying different doubles formations.” … Light is the only returning PAC singles tournament semifinalist returning this season.  … Saad will be assisted in his coaching efforts by first-year assistant Christian Cruz Marin and Phoenixville coaching legend Leo Scoda, who’s serving as a volunteer coach.

Pope John Paul II

Head coach: Michael Esz, first season.

Last year’s record: 1-8 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 2-8 overall.

Players to watch: Nick Boyce, Sr., singles; Colin Flanegin, Sr., singles.

Outlook: Boyce and Flanegin are shaping up as the Golden Panthers’ first and second singles players, respectively. Both are first-year players and will serve as the team’s captains. … “The boys’ team at PJP is enthusiastic and ready for competition,” Esz said. “The goal is to compete and provide a strong showing against all the schools in the PAC. Hard work, integrity and sportsmanship are some of the core values that PJP will bring to the courts. The athleticism is high and the tennis intellect is steady, which will allow PJP to have the opportunity to match all opponents.”

Pottsgrove

Head coach: Gus Tellis, 20th season.

Last year’s record: 7-4 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 11-4 overall.

Players to watch: Sean Graham, Sr.; Charlie McAllister, Jr., Jason Watts, So., singles,

Chase Kraichely, Josiah Thieme, Frazier Thomas,

Outlook: The Falcons’ roster features a number of talented freshmen in Colton DiCriscio, Shane Gleason and Rhyz Yoclem. … “Pottsgrove’s tennis future is bright,” Tellis said. “Returning only one senior this year, we can optimistically look forward to what might be something very special. This group of young men is seasoned and ready to compete.”

Pottstown

Head coach: Sean McNamara, second season.

Last year’s record: 0-10 Pioneer Athletic Conference and overall.

Players to watch: Robbie Fleming, Jr., singles; Brice Cole, singles; Xavier Cushman, doubles; Victor Guida, doubles; Merkell Johnson, doubles; Kirshan Patel, doubles; Chedid Schedid, doubles; Alix Stewart, singles;

Outlook: Fleming, Cole and Stewart — all returning singles players — are listed in the first three slots in that order. … “Pottstown tennis is striving to build a solid team with a good young core of players providing a strong foundation,” McNamara said.

Spring-Ford

Head coach: John Brennan, 14th season.

Last year’s record: 10-1 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 12-5 overall.

Players to watch: Ben D’Arcangelo, Sr.; Nick Moore, Sr.; Aidan Mossip, Sr.; Amal Tyagi, Sr.; Adit Jain, Jr.; Chris Lambert, Jr.; Nolan Schweitzer, Jr.; Malchu Pascual, So.

Outlook: The Rams’ roster is bolstered by the presence of newcomers like juniors Connor Brickman and Colin Curatolo, sophomore Siddhant Chavan and freshman Nate Posner, … “Even though we return eight players with varsity experience from last year,” Brennan said, “most of those players will be playing different positions, so we have our work cut out for us if we want to be competitive in PAC play. As always, we want to be in the mix for a PAC championship, and the league is going to be really competitive this year, so we will need to get the most out of every practice and scrimmage for us to be prepared for the start of the season.”

Upper Merion

Head coach: Eric Bowe, ninth season.

Last year’s record: 5-6 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 6-7 overall.

Players to watch: Chetan Midra, Jr.; Jaden Mayer, So.

Outlook: Mayer placed fifth in the PAC Singles Tournament as a freshman; he is expected to play first singles. Mitra posted a better than .500 record his sophomore season. … “Because we have only one senior this year, I expect this to be a tough-fought year,” Bowe said. “A lot of these boys need to learn how to win, let alone play at a high level. Hopefully, we are at least competitive where we have been in the past.”

Upper Perkiomen

Head coach: John Williamson, ninth season.

Last year’s record: 3-8 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 4-10 overall.

Players to watch: Thomas Andrasek, Jr., doubles; Ian Costanzo, Jr., singles; Luke Powers, Jr., singles; Adam Dockery, So., singles; Bryce Lesko, So., doubles.

Outlook: “We are a young team,” Williamson said, “but (we) have potential to improve upon our record from last year. There is a good, young nucleus of players on our team that needs to learn what it takes to compete and win at a high level. I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do.”

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