The local boys tennis scene is booming once again behind a Lower Moreland squad that has all the looks of a state title contender.
Last year’s No. 3 singles player and District 1-2A finalist Jacob Heller will now be playing third singles. That’s because senior first-year player Aaron Sandler, who could contend for a PIAA 3A title, will be playing high school tennis for the first time. Oh yeah and freshman Maxwell Spodik might just be his biggest competition in the district.
Sandler is a five-star recruit and has already committed to University of Penn to continue his athletic career.
Spodik, just a frosh, is already a three-star recruit.
The local tennis scene should not stop there as Upper Dublin and Wissahickon has already tussled to a 4-3 match with the Cardinals winning. The Trojans have a solid 1-2 punch in Noah Cylich and Andy Wang, but the Cardinals have the depth throughout the lineup, led by No. 1 player Scott Schlackman.
Upper Dublin also does own a 4-3 win over Lower Moreland this season.
Over in the SOL Colonial all of North Penn, Souderton and Pennridge should be improved. If it’s enough to knock off the CB’s might be too early to tell. Still, Pennridge has a new No. 1 in German exchange student Linus Lienkamp, while the Indians have one of their deeper teams in years.
The following is a capsule look at all the area teams.
Head coach: Brian Wenders
Years coaching: 20th year
Last year’s record: 10-5
Returning starters: Brendan Mo, Max Hayes, Jonah Greeley, Joe Chacko, Will Goldstein, Max Farma, Sam Mahood and Christian Hinkel.
Top newcomers: Josh Malka, Eli Greeley and Erik Ginzberg.
Outlook: While the Ghosts may not compete with the likes of Wissahickon and Upper Dublin they are tough throughout the lineup. Their depth should get them the third spot in the league.
“I think we should be about the same as last year and possibly a little better,” Wender said.
Head coach: Cody Powis, 10 years
Last year’s record: 0-8
Returning players: Josiah Davidar, Jr.
Top newcomers: Pablo Gazauez Castilla, Jr.; Nolan Vaszily, Sr.; John O’Donnell, Sr.
Outlook: “It is especially exciting that Dock can field a full lineup for the first time since COVID,” Powis said. “Every member of our team, except one, is new to our team. A blend of all four graduation classes has joined the team to provide a good balance for the future, but they all come with really good athleticism and coachability. Everyone is coming in with a variety of experience levels, but I think our consistent tennis skills at the top half of our lineup will provide dividens in matches.”
Head coach: Ken Trautwein
Years coaching: 12
Last year’s record: 1-11
Returning starters: Katon Wong, Charlie Batman, Chris D’Souza, Cole Jordan, Caleb Karlson, Lucas Rosen
Top newcomers: Drew Kuhn, Ryan Park
Outlook: “The boys have been playing much more tennis off season and are looking for a stronger season overall,” Trautwein said. “We are playing teams that we should be more competitive with and hope to be closer to .500.”
Head coach: Father Dave O’Brien
Last year’s record: 4-5
Returning starters: Aidan Tomeo, Jr.
Outlook: “I am excited that the program is building as last year was the first time LC was able to have a team in a few years,” O’Brien said. “All the boys who did not graduate came back to play again this year. I am optimistic to see how the team performs against a league that has strong athletes, especially at the prep schools.”
Head coach: Cliff Raben
Returning starters: Jacob Heller, senior; Gabriel Shapiro, sophomore; Vincent Zhang, senior; Logan Moore, sophomore; NIles Zhang, sophomore;
Top newcomers: Aaron Sandler, senior; Maxwell Spodik, freshman.
Outlook: When the returning No. 1 singles player is playing third you know a special season is on the horizon. Senior Aaron Sandler is finally playing high school tennis and is an overwhelming favorite to win a PIAA 2A title as a five-star recruit.
Head coach: Jill Walker
Years coaching: 12th
Last year’s record: 13-2
Returning players: Dylan Wen, sophomore; Akash Suresh, Jr.; Ethan O’Brien, senior.
Outlook: High. The Warriors have all of their singles players returning, including a tournament level player in Wen.
“We would love to win the PAC championship this season and make a solid mark in district play,” Walker said.
Head coach: Toby Watton
Years coaching: 55
Last year’s record: 4-6
Returning starters: Hans Perera, Alex Brown, Thenuk Perera, Ben Kim, Vedantha Krishna
Top newcomers: Nathan Yan, Aslan Yu
Outlook: Signs are pointing up for North Penn with Nathan Yan and Aslan Yu added to the starting lineup.
“We will be better than last year’s record,” Watton said.
Head coach: Aaron Rapsinski
Years Coaching: 7
Last year’s record: 4-9
Returning Starters: Isaac Hartzell (12), Kyle Motts (12), Josh Wurz (12), Jordan Ea (10), Sullivan Heying (12), Wesley Montgomery (12), Jonah Rabuck (10)
Top Newcomers: Linus Lienkamp (11), Dan Carey (11), Drake Warner (10), Wesley George (9), Ethan White (9), Joshua Mathewson (9)
Outlook: “We have a lot of returning talent at the top of the lineup, but we are fairly new to tennis towards the bottom of our lineup,” Rapsinski said. “We are looking to improve each day, and we want to have fun with each match that we play in. We will struggle with league play as our league is stacked. We want to put up a competitive fight against our league opponents and use our matches against them to grow as tennis players.”
Head coach: Jim O’Neill
Years coaching: 3rd
2022 Record: 5-5
Returning players: Jared Archer Sr.; Landon Catto Sr.; Clark VandeWater Sr.; Josh Antill Sr.; Arjen Mamtani Sr.; Sahil Patel Sr.; Ryan Jackson Sr.; Ryan Ciuba Jr.; Brian Wu Jr.; Evan Cole So.; Ethan Archer So.; Rishi Dhanasekaran So.
Top newcomer: Aditya Bhandari Sr.
Outlook for season: The Indians have their deepest team in a few years, but their schedule is not forgiving in the always difficult SOL Colonial
“We have by far the most competitive schedule in school history this year which will be quite a challenge,” O’Neill said. “The competitiveness and attitude have been great so far. Looking forward to watching the team grow throughout the season.”
Head coach: Lora Ball
Years coaching: 12
Last year’s record: 10-2
Returning starters: Scott Schlackman, Tim Sheaffer, Tommaso Serafini, Matt Ebarvia, Tripp Mangifesta, Zachary Hunter, Owen Schwenk, Evan Zislis, Hugh Devine, Abhi Rege, Josh Block, Brendan Bush.
Top newcomers: Noah Cohen
Outlook on team: “This team has the depth and determination of a playoff team,” Ball said. “Winning the conference title, along with advancing deep into the district tournament are our goals.”
Head coach: Tyler Triolo
Years coaching: 1st year as head coach, 2 years as Asst. Coach prior
Last Year’s record: PAC 5-6, Overall 6-7
Returners: Josiah Kotrigh-Lindsay, No. 1 singles.
Top newcomers: Chris Smith.
Outlook: “We are excited for the upcoming season,” Triolo said. “The team is a great blend of returning players and new talented players coming in. Our goal is to not only enjoy the competition, but to be competitive in the PAC this year and improve upon our 5-6 record from last season. We have a really positive team culture and are looking forward to a successful season.”
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