The Huntington boys’ tennis team returns defending county singles champion Jack Flores as the Blue Devils expect to resume their winning ways this spring after settling into Suffolk League II.
Coached by Jamie Fishlow, Huntington struggled at times last year, compiling an overall mark of 4-11. The team defeated Hauppauge (6-1), Ross (6-1), Smithtown West (4-3) and William Floyd (6-1) in matches. The Blue Devils lost three contests by 4-3 scores.
Placed into a new league for the upcoming season and with seven veteran varsity players due back on the courts, the Blue Devils are optimistic their fortunes are on the rise.
Huntington is scheduled to play home and away matches against league foes Northport, Kings Park, Hauppauge, Walt Whitman and Smithtown East. Non-league matches are set with powerful Half Hollow Hills East, Half Hollow Hills West and Harborfields.
Flores held down the No. 1 singles position last spring as a freshman, going 11-3 in dual meets and 20-4 overall. After finishing second in the Division I singles tournament, the teenager upset No. 1 seeded Jackson Weisbrot of Half Hollow Hills West in the county finals, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 to claim the Suffolk crown.
In the state tournament, Flores won his first round match by 6-0, 6-0 scores before falling in three sets in the second round, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. He was All-League, All-County and All-State. “Jack is a bigtime player with huge potential,” said Fishlow last June.
Huntington is also returning Reid Bellistri, Kyle Chin, Max Gordon, Noah Helburn, Jason Verville and Alexander Wakhale.
Last year’s junior varsity team went 4-6 in rugged League I. Because of the high quality of the competition, the record is somewhat deceptive. The 2017 JV roster included Zubair Ali, James Brown, Connor Dougal, Matthew Girimonti, Andrew Knowles, Ryan Knowles, Justin Lokos, Nathan Musso, John Segretti, Jay Schmidt, Jose Suarez, Brandon Varady and Bryce Vitulli.
Practice kicks-off on Monday, March 5. Fishlow will immediately set out to determine who will make the varsity team and who will play where in the starting lineup. There are four singles and three doubles positions.
The Blue Devils open the season on March 19 at Northport. Huntington plays its first home match on March 26 when it hosts Hauppauge at the high school’s Coach Cuppernull Courts complex.