Boys Tennis Looks to Reach Postseason For 11th Straight Season

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A Walpole tennis player returns a hit.

Nicholas Fuller

A Walpole tennis player returns a hit.
A Walpole tennis player returns a hit.

If a Walpole local walked up to you and stated, “Boys Tennis is the most consistent boys sports program at WHS to date,” the first reaction you would probably have is incredulity.  What about football?  All those titles?  Boys Soccer made the state championship this year, and Boys Basketball and Baseball have had great postseason runs.  Boys Hockey has been very good as of late. On what basis — of all the powerhouse boys sports at WHS — Boys Tennis is the most consistent?

The magic word is ten. No other WHS boys team can currently say they have a ten year postseason streak.  Not baseball, not football, nor any other boys program. This impressive feat is an unlikely run for a program no one really talks about, and Boys Tennis has no intention of allowing the streak to end this year.

But the past is the past and this is the present, and a big question looms: Will the team be good enough to qualify for their eleventh straight postseason appearance?

No one knows as of yet.  For starters, Boys Tennis is 2-5, defeating Dedham and Milton while losing to Weymouth, Natick, Newton North, Wellesley, and Brookline.  Losing three straight matches sounds like a team destined to miss the playoffs, but Wellesley, Newton North, and Brookline are the top teams in the Bay State. Matches against CM and other Herget foes will dictate the success of Boys sports’ most successful programs.

One of the Rebels major problems is a lack of experience. Five of the seven starters from last year were seniors, and this team features almost no starters from last year’s team.

Whatever this year’s team lacks in experience, they make up for in talent and hard work. Junior Mike Bloom, a three year starting varsity player, is the team’s first singles player.  He is short at 5’4, but is a quick, resilient, and tough opponent for anyone. So far this year, he’s had mixed results (is 2-2 against his opponents), but has shown great potential against some of the most talented tennis players in the state.

Coach Shawn Gough said, “[Bloom] was down 5-1 to the best tennis player on Weymouth, and he comes over to me with a dead serious look on his face and says, ‘Coach, I’m still in this.’”  He then orchestrated a furious comeback, but ultimately lost the set 7-6.

Senior Captain Drew Morrier, a four year varsity player, is at second singles while junior Dan Frankel fills the slot at third singles.  Despite just joining the team last season, Frankel has impressed, climbing to third singles in a short time and consistently defeating his opponent day in and day out.  He has not lost to anyone so far this year.  At first and second doubles, juniors Scott Mclean, Joe Delaney, Jack Young, and Dimos Katsaros have a lot to learn, and are in a completely different situation after losing all starting varsity doubles players from last year.  One wouldn’t be wrong to assume their acclimation could be difficult, but don’t tell them that.

 Junior Scott Mclean said, “We believe we are just as good if not better than other doubles teams out there.”  In addition, juniors Andrew Nevin, Andrew Drogan, and Senior Captain Mike Griffin are all talented upperclassman who provide great depth to the roster.

No one knows if this year’s Boys Tennis squad will add to the postseason streak or be a part of its end.  The season will be difficult, a transition, but the pieces are still in place for this team to succeed. So far, results do not look good, and the rest of the season will be a mystery. For many years, Boys Tennis has been on the right side of history and made it in to the tournament. Despite the loss of many seniors and with that, a lot of experience, the Boys Tennis players expect to make the playoffs again. Who’s to say anything different?