A talented group of young players kept the Huntington High School junior varsity boys’ tennis team competitive this spring.
Coached by Robert Gilmor III, the Blue Devils compiled a 4-6 mark, but the squad featured many players who seem destined for bigger things in the sport.
“This year’s team was built around 10 strong freshmen,” Gilmor said. “Our future looks very promising. Their commitment to the sport is extremely impressive. The leadership was held by three strong and gifted upperclassmen who were terrific role models for our younger players. I am blessed to have had such a hardworking team.”
The Huntington JV held its ground in the face of very tough opposition. The Blue Devils played some of Suffolk’s top programs and endured. Varsity head coach Jamie Fishlow feels good about the players currently in the program and believes the squad will be among the best in the league during coming seasons.
“Our team is young and each one possesses a willingness to learn and young and willing allows us to be very positive about the future,” Gilmor said.
Huntington had a highly motivated core group of skilled athletes on its roster. Several were given promotions during the season. “Jason Verville and Alex Wakhale were immediately recognized as two very strong players and were brought up to the varsity for the remainder of the season,” Gilmor said. “Mr. Fishlow and I kept an open door policy, which allowed a lot of the players to experience varsity play. The remainder of the team played well and never stopped learning and getting better.”
Sophomores James Brown and Connor Dougal provided experienced leadership and were “great role models,” Gilmor said. Junior Jay Schmidt returned after being sidelined and “he was a nice addition that gave me peace of mind,” the coach added.
Huntington made its opponents work to win every point. “’Well-mannered’ and ‘fierce competitors’ is what visiting coaches said about our players,” Gilmor said.
Among the Blue Devils’ most satisfying wins were a pair of 4-3 decisions over Harborfields and Smithtown West.
The roster also included Zubair Ali, Matthew Girimonti, Andrew Knowles, Ryan Knowles, Justin Lokos, Nathan Musso, John Segretti, Jose Suarez, Brandon Varady and Bryce Vitulli. Every player contributed to the team.
“As long as everyone continues to work out in the off-season, next year will be very rewarding for each player,” Gilmor said.