BISHOP EUSTACE CRUSADERS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: The entire starting lineup is back for Bishop Eustace, led by senior Adam Kinsley, who has played No. 1 singles each of the last two years. Sophomore Joe Deiter is coming off a strong freshman campaign at second singles and should only get better now that he’s had a taste of varsity tennis. Declan Burke, a junior, rounds out the returning singles players. Senior Noah Staashaught and junior Joe Semon teamed up at first doubles and juniors Jack Closkey and Drake Taylor started at second doubles. Junior Nick Ward is another experienced veteran.
OUTLOOK: The Crusaders’ youngsters gained valuable varsity experience in 2019 and are sure to move up in the standings this spring. Jim Baker, who retired from a distinguished career as a teacher and coach at Shawnee in 2018, is entering his first season at the helm of the program after coaching the Bishop Eustace girls team in the fall.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Arjun Mannan is coming off a remarkable sophomore season and it will be exciting to see how he follows it up this spring. The junior has played first singles the last two years and posted a 32-2 record in 2019. He became the first player in school history to win the singles title at the South Jersey Interscholastic Championships, repeated as the Burlington County champion and captured the Olympic Conference crown. Mannan capped the year by winning three matches at the state singles tournament and reaching the round of 16. Junior Vijay Ramu is another key returner who played third singles for most of the season, and sophomore Eric Lin also saw time at the No. 3 spot along with first and second doubles. Senior Adam Lammers played first doubles with several different partners, while junior Salvatore Basile is another experienced doubles player.
OUTLOOK: The Chiefs posted a 12-6 record—their most wins in a season since 2015—and reached the sectional quarterfinals in 2019. With most of the starting lineup returning, including one of South Jersey’s premier players in Mannan, hopes are high for this spring.
CHERRY HILL EAST COUGARS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherry Hill East was hit hard by graduation, losing first singles Adam Yu, among others. Sophomore Brett Schuster will look to take over the top spot after a promising rookie season at third singles. He went 13-3 during team matches and reached the round of 16 at the South Jersey Interscholastic Championships as well as the Camden County Tournament semifinals. Senior Jeffrey Xi and sophomore Nathan Belitsky— who played second doubles together and earned the clinching point in the South Jersey Group IV final—are the other returning starters. Xi also has singles experience and it would not be surprising to see him return to that role. Senior Fred Yi is another returner who hopes to have an impact, while several varsity newcomers will be expected to fill out the lineup.
OUTLOOK: The Cougars had a season to remember in 2019, as their 15-1 campaign featured the Olympic American title and was capped off by their fourth straight sectional final and first championship during that stretch. It will be hard to replace last year’s seniors, but this is a program that always seems to stay competitive.
CHERRY HILL WEST LIONS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Nathan Harrison, the first singles player for Cherry Hill West the last two years, moved to Texas, so the Lions will have to break in a new No. 1. Sophomore Nick Cyganik could be ready for the role after earning the second singles job as a rookie. He gained valuable varsity experience and knows what to expect in his second season. Senior Kylei Neal and juniors Ian Dolan and Colin Chance are returning doubles starters and junior Jack McCandless also has doubles experience.
OUTLOOK: The Lions were much improved last year and finished with a 5-7 record, including a playoff victory. With a big piece of the lineup back, the progress should continue in 2020.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Martin Lacsamana has established himself as one of the top players in the area in his first two seasons and is poised for a big junior year. He went 23-5 as a sophomore, repeated as the Gloucester County champion and reached the round of 16 at the South Jersey Interscholastic Championships. His goals for 2020 include becoming the fourth player to claim three Gloucester County titles and winning a match at the state singles tournament. Junior Kyle Deacon is another talented singles player who compiled a 17-3 record during team matches at the third spot. Senior James Roberto started at first doubles and senior Robert Albertson was part of the second doubles team. Senior Vincent Fedoryka will also look to contribute.
OUTLOOK: The 2019 season was a memorable one for the Pioneers, who went 17-4 and reached the sectional final for the first time in program history. Expectations are high for the team and Lacsamana this spring.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Eastern graduated most of its starting lineup but is happy to welcome back senior Pranay Jaggi. He has played second singles the last two years and is likely to move into the No. 1 spot in his final season. Senior Sudish Devadiga was part of the second doubles duo and is the only other returning starter. Sophomore Sohum Sapra could be ready to move into the starting lineup and other returners expected to contribute are senior Seth Drachman and sophomore Dhruv Sureka.
OUTLOOK: The Vikings seem to contend for a winning record and make noise in the playoffs year in and year out. It might be difficult this season with so many new faces in the lineup, but Eastern should not be overlooked.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Will Oberholtzer has started at first singles since his freshman year and will look to close out his standout career with a bang this spring. He was the Colonial Conference champion last year and went 30-8, improving his career record to 87-34. He also reached the semifinals of the Camden County Tournament and the quarterfinals of the South Jersey Interscholastic Championships. Senior Cole Roddy emerged as Haddonfield’s third singles last year and could move up to the second spot after posting a 17-5 record. Senior Pierre Yan has been a starter at doubles the last two years and senior Ted George is another experienced doubles player. Sophomores Matt O’Leary and Jason Solak head a group of promising underclassmen who will be in competition for the remaining spots in the lineup.
OUTLOOK: The Bulldawgs captured their 17th sectional championship in a row last year and advanced to the Group II state semifinal before finishing with a 21-5 record. They’ll look to extend the sectional streak this spring and Oberholtzer should be in contention in several tournaments.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Kingsway said goodbye to a special senior class that included five starters, so the Dragons will have a new look this year. Seniors Ethan Bentley and Troy Mostoller have both started since they were sophomores and should become the new leaders. Bentley went 16-3 at third singles in team matches and will be in contention for the No. 1 spot. Mostoller was part of the second doubles team that went 19-5 and claimed the Gloucester County title. Junior Michael Parker also saw varsity time and could be in line for a bigger role. Freshman Jack Arena is a newcomer to watch, as he has a chance to make an impact right away. Seniors Divum Raval and Niam Patel will look to contribute as well.
OUTLOOK: The Dragons posted a 17-4 record in 2019—all four losses came to sectional champions—and won their third straight Tri-County Royal title and second straight county crown. It will be interesting to see whether they can reload this year and stay in contention.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Lenape returns five starters from a sectional finalist team, including all three singles players. Senior Sreejith Nair, a singles starter since his sophomore year, moved into the top spot as a junior, made the semifinals of the South Jersey interscholastic Championships (SJIC) and earned all-South Jersey honors. Seniors Sidharth Peri and Aidan Cashin followed Nair in the second and third positions, respectively, and both compiled strong records during team matches. Seniors Amit Ampolu and Ayush Nair played second doubles together and advanced to the quarterfinals of the SJIC. Senior Abhi Chauhan saw time at third singles and second doubles and will look to take over a regular role. Senior Evan Snider is also expected to contribute.
OUTLOOK: Despite having four new starters in the starting lineup, the Indians still put together a successful 2019 season in which they went 13-3 and made the sectional final for the third year in a row. With so many top players returning, they have a chance to extend that streak this spring.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: The entire starting lineup is back for Moorestown, led by senior first singles Peter Leese, who has held the top spot since his sophomore season. Leese made the final of the South Jersey Interscholastic Championships (SJIC) last year, won two matches at the state singles tournament and made the all- South Jersey team. Senior Sahil Tilak, a three-year starter, played second singles and also made the all-South Jersey team after earning 18 wins during team matches. Senior Sean Kirk had a strong year at third singles, posting a 17-8 record during team matches. Juniors Michael Hu and Naveen Shah were fantastic as first-time starters at first doubles and won the title at the SJIC. Sophomore Aidan Nemiroff and senior CJ Mascoveto are returning starters at second doubles and junior Deven Patel also has doubles experience.
OUTLOOK: With five new starters in 2019, the Quakers won their third straight sectional championship and 42nd in 46 years on their way to a 17-9 record. Now those players all have experience and that will make Moorestown tough to beat this spring in coach Bill Kingston’s 47th year with the program.
MOORESTOWN FRIENDS FOXES
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Moorestown Friends graduated first singles Liam Schenk, but a deep and talented roster is back in the fold, and several players could be ready to take over the No. 1 position. Junior Mitch Desman played third singles as a rookie and opened last year as the starter at second singles before missing most of the season. Another candidate for the top spot is junior Nolan Schenk, who played second singles as a freshman but missed last season with a torn ACL. Sophomore Ryan Gorman is expected to fill out the singles lineup, while seniors Matthew Cherfane and Anthony Carrano have varsity experience at singles and doubles and should play a key role as well. Senior Josh Strauss played first doubles last year and sophomores Jason Strauss and Colby Weiner were partners at second doubles.
OUTLOOK: The Foxes reached their sixth sectional final in a row last year on their way to an 8-5 record. No matter how the lineup shakes out, this is shaping up as another successful campaign.
PAUL VI EAGLES
PLAYERS TO WATCH: An experienced roster returns for Paul VI, including Josh Roney and Yihuan Chou, who both started at singles in 2019. Roney, a senior, manned the second spot and Chou, a junior, played No. 3, and both could vie for the first position this spring. Junior Nino Castorio and sophomore Reston Warlick were first doubles partners and junior Shane Rutkowski was a starter at second doubles. Juniors Anthony Carpinella and Evan Marino also gained doubles experience as underclassmen and could be in line for bigger roles.
OUTLOOK: With so many starters returning, the Eagles are poised to show improvement and perhaps add a few more wins to their final record.
SENECA GOLDEN EAGLES
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Landon Wall emerged as Seneca’s No. 1 singles player as a freshman and put together a strong rookie season, compiling a 14-4 record during team matches. He should only get better with a year of high school tennis under his belt. All four doubles players are also back. Senior Nick Webb and junior Ben Yaroch went 7-4 together at first doubles; both also saw time at singles and are candidates to move into those positions on a full-time basis. Senior Tob y Megaw and junior Vince Abate posted a 9-6 mark together, mostly at second doubles, and junior Paul Paetow is another experienced doubles player. Seniors Matt Evans and Luke Harris are expected to contribute as well.
OUTLOOK: Last year was another successful one for the Golden Eagles, who went 12-6, claimed the Olympic National title and made the sectional semifinals before falling to eventual champion Haddonfield. More of the same can be expected in 2020 with Wall leading the way.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: All three singles players graduated, but Shawnee brings back several promising veterans who should be ready to make the jump from doubles. Senior Andrew Tecce, the younger brother of former Shawnee standouts Eric and Cole, is one of those players. He teamed with junior Anshul Shetty at first doubles last year, and together they won eight matches. Juniors Joshua Dubler and Nicholas Frasetto were terrific at second doubles, posting a 10-2 record during team matches. Senior Christian Vasta, junior Kevin Caldini and sophomore Luke Strong also have doubles experience.
OUTLOOK: The Renegades always seem to finish with a winning record and make a playoff run, and that was the case last year as they went 10-6 and advanced to the sectional semifinals. Although the singles lineup will be new, expect them to remain competitive.
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP MINUTEMEN
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Most of the starting lineup graduated, so Washington Township will need new leaders to emerge. The most experienced returner is senior Yi Lin Zheng, who saw time as first and second doubles as a junior. Seniors Matt Marmon and Jason Aquino each saw some varsity time and could be in line for bigger roles. Other returners hoping to contribute are seniors Andy Cahill, Brad Cahill, Sean Meares, Simon Singh and Christian Taormina and sophomores Vincent Moore and Bert Newton.
OUTLOOK: With so many new faces in the lineup, the Minutemen might take a while to find their footing but hope to be playing their best tennis by the end of the year.
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Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 11.
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