Saturday, April 5, 2008

WHS Boys Tennis Hopes For Finer Finish In '08

The one thing that the Wakefield High School Boys Tennis team wants to do in 2008 is improve. The team was one of the weaker ones in the Middlesex League as the boys finished 4-14 in 2007. The Warriors graduated six players in 2007 and it will be interesting to see how this will impact the team. Adam Kuks was one of the six who graduated and he spent most of the year at third singles. He finished with an impressive 40% games won percentage. Taking over for Kuks (at least for Monday's game) will be Glen Maganzini. Maganzini, a junior, played primarily at second singles for the Warriors in 2007. He ended the '07 season on somewhat of a high note as he finished 2-2 in the final four games of 2007. His games won percentage was 34%. The Warriors did happen to lose their two varsity double pairings as all four players graduated in 2007. Tom Flynn played very well at seconds doubles and finished with a varsity high 122 games won (43% games won). Tom's brother, Joe, was originally paired with Tom, but midway through the season Joe switched parters and played most of his games at first doubles. Joe finished with a 41% games won percentage. Both of the Flynn's return this season as coaches' assistants. The other two double players were Dan Muise and Mike Staffiere. Muise played mostly at first doubles and finished off with a 37% games won percentage. Perhaps the most memorable game Muise played in was a May 9th standoff against Stoneham. Muise and partner Joe Flynn barely lost in a three setter (7-6, 5-7, 6-7). The team suffered a tough 1-4 loss that day. Staffiere alternated between first and second doubles. The kid just never seemed to lose. He played very competitive tennis and this is reflected in his 147 games lost (lowest varsity total). Staffiere has expressed interest in helping the team in a capacity similar to the Flynn's. To fill the doubles voids will be sophomores Stephen Parad and Rex Lam, junior Derek Krevat, and senior captain Mike Slafsky. Parad and Lam will start off the season at first doubles. Parad teamed up with Andrew Kuks, who now does track, in 2007 and they played really well together. The two played in two varsity matches. Perhaps the best doubles match of the season came when Parad and Kuks defeated Burlington in a very close three setter. Lam will be making his varsity debut on Monday and he is coming off a very solid J.V season. Krevat, a junior, is a first year player who has played exceptionally well in the preseason. Well enough to earn him a spot next to Slafsky. Slafsky in 2007 platooned between first, second, and J.V doubles. His partner was Brian Hurley, who will start the season off at second singles. He is another one who has looked really good in the preseason. He played in five varsity games and compiled a combined J.V/Varsity games won percentage of 44%. Jason Parad, a senior captain, will be playing first singles for the second straight year. Parad had to shoulder quite a load as a junior -- first singles -- as he battled against some of the State's finest tennis players. He met the challenge particularly well as he finished with a 34% games won percentage. His best match came against aforementioned Stoneham; he won against top Spartan's senior Jon Berkman. The J.V isn't as deep as it has been in previous years. There would have been seven J.V spots, but junior Prateek injured himself in practice. Prateek's ankle came up lame in a recent practice. That marked his second ankle injury since last season's end; he suffered a sprained ankle in an autumn hit around with Glen. He will be out for the entire season, just like last year's senior captain Matt Messina, who was forced to watch every match up from behind the cage in 2007. Kevin Dwyer Heidkamp (senior) and Chris Fanikos (junior) will initially form the first J.V doubles pairing. The two played together extensively in 2007 and both players ended with games won percentage higher than 55%. The second J.V doubles tandem will be Dan Liberfarb and Brian Li. Liberfarb, a sophomore, held the highest games won percentage (tied with K.D.H) among the J.V players in 2007. Liberfarb hopes that he can keep it up with Li, also a sophomore. Ryan Coburn, a junior, will figure in the J.V mix somewhere. Ryan Suh, a first year sophomore, will be playing as a J.V floater. Head coaching the team for a seventh straight year is Mr. Robertson. Coach Metropolis is back for his second consecutive season. 5 of the 7 varsity players played in at least a few varsity matches in 2007 and that can only be a good thing against the likes of Burlington, Stoneham, and Melrose -- all teams that the Warriors should play competitively against. As Jason Parad put it: "I think that our record this year will improve since our top three players from last year are still with the team."

Visit the WHS Boys Tennis official web page for this year's schedule, results, and statistics.

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