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BOYS TENNIS PREVIEWS

News-Times, News-Times
Published 1:00 am, Saturday, April 10, 2004
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FCIAC

Ridgefield

COACH: Chris Damone (11th year)

LAST YEAR: FCIAC 8-7.

KEY LOSSES: All-Staters Juan Ocampos and Alex Guftason, Matt Johnson, Alex Rotollo.

KEY RETURNEES: Matt Kozlark, John Carey, Drew Larson, and Drew Tewksbury, Pat Guthrie and Dave Correa.

OUTLOOK: Damone expects his team to finish in the top six of the FCIAC, and compete for the Class L title in the state tournament. An embarassment of riches, 37 boys came out for the team this spring. Damone said he will carry 16 players on the varsity and between 16 and 18 on the jayvees.



Danbury

COACH: John Casey (1st year)

LAST YEAR: 7-9, FCIAC 6-8

KEY LOSSES: None

KEY RETURNEES: Danny Sass (all-FCIAC), Mike Silvestri, Raphi Osnoss, Matt Hawley, Ramzi Takla, Marc Sundstrom.

OUTLOOK: The Hatters missed making the FCIAC's by one win last year. With three major returnees and freshmen Benny Sass and Dan Buzaid competing for a singles position, the coach is optimistic the team will improve its record to .500 and get into the conference championships.



SWC

Bethel

COACH: Brad Ritchie (3rd year)

LAST YEAR: 4-10

KEY LOSSES: None

KEY RETURNEES: Sean Geary, Alex Cobos.

OUTLOOK: The Wildcats are a young team in a rebuilding year. Ritchie says the thrust of the season will be to develop freshmen players to be the core of the team for the next few years. He is looking for freshmen Robbie Hill and Jon Lynn to have breakout seasons and create excitement for the program.



Brookfield

COACH: Gary Cassells (16th year)

LAST YEAR: 12-4, SWC 10-4, Fourth in SWC Tournament, Class M ninth in class M

KEY LOSSES: Nick Bonavita (All-SWC), Ron Salazar, David Lavoie.

KEY RETURNEES: Nine returning lettermen including Scott Seiffer, Kunal Patel, Jamie Levitt, John Mackiewicz and Chris Martin.

OUTLOOK: The Bobcats' return nine lettermen this year, and have added two freshmen, Seth Meltzer and Nathan Eivaz, who Cassells expects to be factors later in the season. "We should be a little better than last year," Cassells said. He will measure the season on how well his team does in the Class M state tournament.



Immaculate

COACH: Art Roberts (5th year)

LAST YEAR: 0-13

KEY LOSSES: None

KEY RETURNEES: Joshua Hecht, Steven Lopes, Evan McNiff, Drew Doyon, Ryan McDonough, Michael Leone.

OUTLOOK: After last year, there is no where for the Mustangs to go but up. Coach Roberts says he expects his team to be competive. "We have guys who are quick, but need to work on developing their tennis skills.



Joel Barlow

COACH: Tom Cable (5th year)

LAST YEAR: 13-1, Won Class M championship, and carried the individual singles and doubles titles.

KEY LOSSES: Graduated all singles and doubles from last year's team, including All-Staters Erik Skartvebtvedt, Pete MacLellan, and Lucas Tanen.

KEY RETURNEES: None

OUTLOOK: Despite graduating every major player from last year's team, Cable expects to be competitive. Realistically speaking, he thinks a second or third place finish in the SWC is likely.



New Milford

COACH: Patrick Rooney, 1st year

LAST YEAR: 5-9

KEY LOSSES: Igor Podoprigora, Ajay Panduranga, Mike Silverman.

KEY RETURNEES: Eric Wachs, Dan Winkley, Mark Crosskey.

OUTLOOK: Making the state tournament and the top four in the SWC will not be out of reach according to Rooney. "We should be one of the better teams in the league," he said.



Newtown

COACH: Marty Margulies, 4th year

LAST YEAR: 11-3, Competed in the SWC tournament.

KEY LOSSES: John Perachio, Sean O'Mahoney and Justin Bass

KEY RETURNEES: Matt McFadden and Jason Garbarino.

OUTLOOK: Drew Adamek, a doubles player last year, moves up to No. 3 singles behind McFadden and Garbarino. Juniors Bruno Moura and Max Margulies will form the team's first doubles combo. "This is going to be a rebuilding year," Margulies said. "I'm hoping for a winning record. If we make the post-season playoffs, it will be a bonus.



Pomperaug

COACH: Albert Villadolid (2nd year)

LAST YEAR: 9-4, 2nd in Colonial, lost to Weston in the semifinals of the SWC, Qualified 10 players for the states.

KEY LOSSES: Griffin Suter, Mark Piacentini, Rashiv Iyer, Louis Alfano, Eric Schine.

KEY RETURNEES: Elie Bilmes, Pat Randolph, Brian Ganjei, Adam Bellotti, Mike LeBeau, William Chan, Ryan Suter.

OUTLOOK: Pomperaug's goals are to win the Colonial division of the SWC and make the state tournament. Villadolid will will depend on Bilmes at No. 1 singles and two freshmen breakthrough players in Connor McNeish at No. 2 singles and Alex Alfano at No. 2 doubles. "We'll definitely be competitive this year, and hopefully win it all," Villadolid said.



CVTC

Abbott Tech

COACH: Chris Wethered (4th year)

LAST YEAR: 12-1 overall, 12-0 CVTC.

KEY LOSSES: Nick Ferriera (injury), Bryan Jamerson, Lara Saravia.

KEY RETURNEES: Rafeal Barroso, Shawn Coelho, Aquila Olivera, Gamze Ceylon.

OUTLOOK: Last season the Wildcats dominated the CVTC championships. Rafael Barroso won the CVTC singles title. Both its doubles teams faced each other for league title. Barroso leads a veteran team with seven seniors and the two sophomores who won the league doubles title as freshmen. "The injury to Ferriera (car accident) will hurt," Wethered said. "He was supposed to be our No. 2 singles player. But with our experience, we still expect to be strong." Abbott also has two experienced newcomers, Gustavo DeSousa and Eren Ceylon.



Berkshire League

Shepaug Valley

COACH: Quincy Horan, 1st year

KEY RETURNEES: Roy Larson, Josh Kimball. Seth Nichols.

OUTLOOK: Horan expects the Spartans to contend for the Berkshire League title. "We will be competitive," he says. "We should qualify for the Class S tournament and some of our people should make it into the state open."



New York State

Brewster

COACH: John Martino. 25th year

LAST YEAR: 0-10

KEY LOSSES: none

Key returnees: Ben Greer, Mike Greer and Alex Nicoletti.

OUTLOOK: Martino believes his team will be improved, with better skills. However, he still needs his doubles players to get to net and finish their points. Despite the inexperieince, he forecasts that the Bears will make the league tournament, and hopes Ben Greer makes the top three in the league to qualify for sectionals.

Lenn Zonder