Boys Tennis Team Serves Up Success

The Bears varsity tennis team had its last tournament on September 29th at Clarkston. The Bears are currently 5-1-2 and have wins against teams, such as Clarkston and a signature win against Royal Oak (7-1). As fall approaches, so does the tennis program’s anticipation and preparation for States. Will the Bears be ready for States, and how will they use this tournament as momentum or a lesson going forward?
Senior Riley Shafritz is extremely excited for this tournament, saying, “There are some really outstanding teams (at this tournament) and it’ll be interesting to see how my team and I do.” Shafritz’s excitement is surfacing from his love of the game but also from his undefeated doubles record going into this tournament.
Shafritz credits his success to his partner senior Jacob Dokho, referring to how “Dokho at the net is unstoppable. He’s lengthy, smart, and quick.” With standout duos like Shafritz and Dokho, the team will hopefully build off of their success.
Other seniors have had success, with senior Captain Noah Rubin taking on the difficult but honorable task of being the number one single player. Jonah Wolfe, a senior captain next to Rubin, is facing a shoulder injury, but that still doesn’t stop him from helping the team.
I talked to both captains, and they both hope to use this as a “stepping stone” going into States. Wolfe comments on how the team has “practiced all week” doing specific drills like poaching where players practice their volley’s to help them thrive close to the net.
The tournament held on September 29th, was a long 8 hours of playing and waiting between matches. Even with the top schools in the area competing in the tournament, the Bears came in second. Notable singles matches included junior Alex Beard and senior Captain Max Victor who each helped the Bears gain critical points to advance to second place.
Wolfe explained how these specific matches were “extremely clutch and excellent in a crucial situation” and “the boost that was needed to help the team win.” Wolfe hopes that these matches will give his teammates “insane confidence” going forward.
However, not everyone gained momentum. Previously mentioned,senior duo Shafritz and Dokho experienced their first loss. Shafritz says he’ll use this loss as a “lesson” and credits their opponents from Stoney Creek, saying, “They were the best team there, and we need competition going into States. This is a humbling experience, but it was a good time for a reality check.”
The Bears wrap up their season against Groves on October 3rd. According to Senior Captains Max Victor and Jonah Wolfe, the upcoming match is the “biggest match of the season, and it’s our biggest test so far this year.” Groves is one of the top tennis teams in the state, and Wolfe hopes to “pull off the biggest upset of all time.” Both added on how they hope the team goes into regionals with a “sense of competitiveness” and uses this as fuel for regionals.
With concentrated preparation and challenges ahead, the Bears hope to see great success at regionals. Regionals are being held at Groves and Seaholm high schools on October 6th. Victor wraps up the season perfectly, stating, “We’ve had a great season and I’m glad to end my senior year with all these guys. We have and will continue to play our hearts out, and I wish the future of the program the best.”