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Boys Tennis: Team-by-team preview capsules for 2019

Boys Tennis: Team-by-team preview capsules for 2019
Liberty High School boys tennis coaches Barry Green and Tim Brecker greet players before a match against Westminster. (Bill Ryan / Carroll County Times)

CENTURY

Coach: Trey Howes, 2nd year

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Last year’s record: 10-2, 10-2 county

First match: March 25 at Man Valley, 4

Key losses: Ben Brown, Luke Fetterman, John Marcellino

Key returners: Danny Arriola, junior; Kyle Kropfelder, junior; Mason Motter, senior; Nick Napolitano, senior; Nick Simon, senior

Outlook: The Knights lost their top doubles team, an all-county pair in Fetterman and Marcellino (18-2), to graduation. But Howes returns a solid duo in Kropfelder and Motter, who played together and went 11-1 a year ago. “We have a great mix of young and veteran players that will allow us to be competitive in and out of the county this season,” Howes said via email.

FRANCIS SCOTT KEY

Coach: Steve French, 5th year

Last year’s record: 3-10, 2-10 county

First match: March 25 vs. Westminster, 4

Key losses: Charles French, Brad Sensabaugh, Derrick Warehime

Key returners: Brandon Bimestefer, senior; Grant Johnson, sophomore; Justin Reiger, junior

Outlook: Reiger posted a 5-5 record playing No. 2 singles for the Eagles last year, so his experience will help a squad that lost a significant numbers of starters from 2018. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to see what our current players are going to contribute this season,” French said via email.

LIBERTY

Coaches: Tim Brecker, 24th year; Barry Green, 5th year

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Last year’s record: 12-0, 12-0 county

First match: March 26 vs. Winters Mill, 4

Key losses: Steven Goetz, Josh Kelly, Taylor Mendoza, Tyler Shatto, Alex Whiteman

Key returners: Reda Babas, senior; Josh Bellows, sophomore; Austin Choe, junior; Dylan Gettier, senior; Christian Harsha, senior; Nathan Murphy, sophomore; Ray Woodward, junior; Tyger Zan, senior

Outlook: Brecker said via email the No. 1 singles spot, occupied last spring by Goetz — the reigning Player of the Year — will be filled by Zan. Plus, Gettier and Woodward (15-1) are back after a first-team all-county year as doubles partners. “This year’s team will be relying on depth after graduating a strong senior class,” Brecker said.

MANCHESTER VALLEY

Coach: Matt Bien, 5th year

Last year’s record: 8-7, 6-6 county

Next match: March 25 vs. Century, 4

Key losses: Mason Castanzo, Jad Kfouri, Sean McGarry

Key returners: Caleb Boyle, senior; Chase Estes, senior; Matt Gordon, senior; Matthew Fairchild, senior; Collin Seward, senior

Outlook: Fairchild is coming off a first-team all-county junior year (14-7) in which he took second at the county tourney and fourth at the Region VII tournament. He and Estes (13-7) should give the Mavs strength in singles. “We are very excited to get started,” Bien said via email. “The numbers are good, we are deeper than ever, and the boys have been working hard to prep for the season.”

SOUTH CARROLL

Coach: Eric Klezer, 1st year

Last year’s record: 6-8, 4-8 county

First match: March 25 at Winters Mill, 4

Key losses: Logan Baker, Paul Becker, Ethan Ferguson, Steve Ioannidis

Key returner: Gavin Baker, senior

Outlook: The Cavaliers have a new coach in Klezer, and a lot of new faces on the team — only three players from last year’s varsity lineup are back, and five overall. Expect Baker to assume the top singles spot, and Klezer said via email he’s looking for positive results from junior John Daniel and sophomores EJ Klezer and Connor Skelton.

WESTMINSTER

Coach: Fran McCullin, 35th year

Last year’s record: 7-5, 7-5 county

Next match: March 25 at Francis Scott Key, 4

Key losses: Brett Farquharson, Brach Jaworski, Austin Ruddick, Max Seibel, Michael Twery

Key returners: Nic Cook, senior; Chase Fields, junior; Dylan Flater, junior; Kyle Fronheiser, senior; Adam Long, junior; Aaron Sorkin, sophomore; Evan Warren, junior

Outlook: Replacing Seibel and Twery is one of McCullin’s challenges for 2019 — the Owls’ pair earned first-team all-county honors after playing doubles together in the postseason. Westminster also lost its top singles player in Ruddick (15-5). “Returning only two starters, we are an unknown quantity to be sure,” McCullin said via email. “We will have to find our footing rather quickly, as our beginning schedule is tough.”

WINTERS MILL

Coaches: Brad Davidson, 1st year; Eric Mezsaros, 1st year

Last year’s record: 1-11, 1-11 county

First match: March 25 vs. South Carroll, 4

Key loss: Chris Fettke Von Koeckritz

Key returners: Chase Burker, Matheo Cuenca, Brian Inglis, Matt Inglis

Outlook: Davidson played his high school tennis at Manchester Valley, and joins coaching forces with Meszaros (he helped the Falcons three years ago). Burker and Cuenca played as doubles partners last spring, but are set for singles in 2019. “Our boys team is still strong with the talent returning from last year,” Davidson said via email. “While we are in transition to a new coaching staff … all of the players are excited to play this season.”

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