School name: Caesar Rodney
Head coach: James Harvey
2013 record: 15-0
Key returning players: Nikola Sijan, Parker Barton, Chris Gravelle, Trey Parker, Alexander Feuerstein, Akil Patel, Neil Patel, Vincent Isaac Mangubat, Snehil Kumar, Hirshesh Patel, Presten DeMarreau, Adam Ahern
Key newcomers: Cyrus Shanehsaz
Season outlook: Entering the 2014 season, the Caesar Rodney Riders boys’ tennis team, not surprisingly, is one of the favorites in the Henlopen Conference. Last season, the Riders went undefeated for the third consecutive season also capturing their fourth conference championship in a row. This season the Riders bring back six of seven starters from last season including 1st singles and team captain Nikola Sijan, who entered the state championships last season as the number one ranked player in the state. Sophomore Parker Barton will compete for the 2nd singles spot after holding down the 3rd singles spot last season finishing 21-1 overall. Meanwhile, all of the Riders’ doubles teams remain intact including the 1st doubles team of Chris Gravelle and Trey Parker.
Coach's quote: “We certainly have a strong returning lineup and having gone 15-0 over the last three seasons creates a high standard for this team to set as a goal.”
School name: Dover
Head coach: Richard Duke
2013 record: 12-2
Key returning players: Christian Anyanwu, Andy Zheng, Matthew Walter, Cedric Barnes
Key newcomers: N/A
Season outlook: After a successful 12-2 season last year, the Dover Senators enter the 2014 season campaign with some uncertainty. While the Senators will have Andy Zheng, Matthew Walter, Cedric Barnes and Christian Anyanwu all returning, it’s making up the rest of the squad that will be the problem. With only six players listed on the roster, the Senators need one more to compete in all events. With a seventh player on the way, the Senators will build their team around their four returning players all who had success last season. Anyanwu led the way at 1st singles as a freshmen and plans to take the next step in his growth as a sophomore leader this season. Zheng will return at 2nd singles, while Barnes and Walter return to the fold at 1st doubles.
Coach's quote: “Because of the four returning players, I feel that we will be able to compete very well in the conference. We will have to come prepared for each and every school that we play. It will be hard to sweep any teams with the low number of players we have, however, we intend to show up at every match and compete to win.”
School name: Polytech
Head coach: Al Mullins
2013 record: 6-7
Key returning players: Ryan Crowley, Will Lackey, Clay Satterfield
Key newcomers: N/A
Season outlook: The Polytech Panthers boys’ tennis team surprised some last season, finishing with a respectable 6-7 record. While they will see graduating seniors Ryan Mullins and Brandon Weber depart, the Panthers have some returnees that are looking to continue the momentum gained from last season. Clay Satterfield will compete to move up from his 3rd singles spot with vacancies at 1st and 2nd singles. Will Lackey and Ryan Crowley return as 1st doubles partners after a third-place finish at the Henlopen Conference championships last season. Also, Isaac McQueen and Benson Huber will compete as 2nd doubles.
Coach's quote: “My expectations this year is just to have the kids try their best.”
School name: Lake Forest
Head coach: Pete Burnham
2013 record: 2-11
Key returning players: Steven Garey, Austin Timson, Jang Yi
Key newcomers: Randy Dookran, Javonte Perry, Joseph Sharp, Jake Symons
Season outlook: After a disappointing 2-11 finish in 2013, the Lake Forest boys’ tennis team returns for a fresh start in 2014. With just seven players, and only three returning from last season, it could be a tough season for the Spartans. Jang Yi returns for his senior season at 1st singles, while both the 2nd singles and 3rd singles spots appear to be up for grabs. Austin Timson made some noise as a freshman last season, and looks to claim one of those open spots. With some uncertainty rising expectations for the Spartans may not be that high. However, if they can stabilize their team they could surprise with plenty of newcomers fighting for open spots including Randy Dookran, Javonte Perry, Joseph Sharp and Jake Symons.
School name: St. Thomas More
Head coach: Eric Spencer
2013 record: 10-4
Key returning players: Justin Zaragoza, Anthony Caruso, Ewan Malenfant, Nicholas Reyes, Jhun Lee Lin, Billy Hart, Kevin Stover
Key newcomers: N/A
Season outlook: After an impressive 10-4 record last year, the St. Thomas More boys’ tennis team returns with plenty of optimism in 2014. With nearly their entire team possible returning for this season, a young, but experienced Ravens team can continue to build upon what they accomplished last season. Justin Zaragoza and Anthony Caruso return for their senior seasons at 1st and 2nd singles respectively. Also, after an impressive freshmen season Ewan Malenfant returns to the fold at 3rd singles. Both the Ravens’ 1st and 2nd doubles teams also return intact featuring Nicholas Matthew Reyes and Jhun Yee Lin, and Kevin Stoner and William Hart. With the majority of the team coming back for this season, the Ravens should have similar success within the conference and may even surprise at the state level.
Coach’s quote: “(We) return all seven starters from a team that finished last year ranked 8th in the state with a 10-4 record. We hope to continue our success this year and improve upon our standing in the state.”