The Cortland High boys’ tennis team has a good bit of experience, with five starters among the 11 veterans back from last year, as it heads into the 2017 season.
The rain-delayed season-opener is now set to take place Monday against host Homer Central in an OSHL Freedom National match at SUNY Cortland.
“Garrett Reagan, Ruvim Kostiv, Damian Brown, Gavin Tabel, and Cooper Swartwout are all returning starters from last season,” second-year coach Cheri Olson said. “Garrett played first doubles last year with Ben Condit, who graduated, and they made it to the second round of sectionals. This year, Garrett is heading towards playing singles. He did very well last year when he played a couple of matches at first singles, so he is excited to take the challenge head-on this year.
“Ruvim was our second singles player last year and will be stepping into first doubles to start the season with Damian Brown, who was second doubles last year. Damian made sectionals last year with his partner Braden Jones, who also graduated. Gavin and Cooper are both strong singles players who I am excited to have back. Gavin qualified for sectionals last year at second singles and Cooper is excited to have that opportunity this season.”
Reagan and Condit went 8-2 as a doubles tandem last year ad lost in the second round of sectionals. Kostiv had a combined record of 5-5 in singles and doubles while Brown and and Jones finished 6-4 in doubles.
Reagan, Kostiv and Tabel are seniors, while Brown and Swartwout are juniors.
“We have some strong returning players who are fighting for spots left open by last year’s seniors,” Olson said. “Cobi O’Connell, Grayson Jones, Dade Hughston, Daniel Ruggiero and Sheridan Crane have been battling every day in practice. We also have a few new players who are very quickly giving the returnees a run for their money.”
O’Connell, Hughston and Crane are seniors; Jones and Ruggiero are sophomores Also returning is sophomore David Parker. The newcomers are senior Anid Pepic, junior Brian Ngo, sophomore Tristan Porter, freshman Nick Djafari and eighth-grader Kai
“I could easily see our starting lineup change slightly from match to match because these guys all want to be a part of it,” Olson said. “Overall this group is very competitive, and that will make our team better throughout the season.”
The Freedom National consists of the Purple Tigers, Homer, East Syracuse-Minoa, Jamesville-DeWitt and Mexico. The Freedom American Division includes Auburn, Central Square, Fulton and Oswego. CHS plays each National Division team twice and each American Division team once for 12 league matches.
APRIL 8 — at Homer (SUNY Cortland), 4.
APRIL 11 — at Fulton, 4:30; 13- MEXICO, 4:30; 19- at East Syracuse-Minoa, 11; 26- AUBURN, 4:30; 28- OSWEGO, 4:30.
MAY 1– at Central Square, 4:30; 3- at Mexico (Pulaski HS), 4:30; 4- HOMER, 4:30; 8- EAST SYRACUSE-MINOA, 4:30; 10- JAMESVILLE-DEWITT, 4:30; 11- at Jamesville-DeWitt, 4:30.
Home matches in CAPS.