Following a league realignment after the 2016 high school boys tennis season, the Glen Cove boys tennis team was repositioned back to Conference III-A, where they have been successful as a unit in the past. This past year, a 9-5 record that saw contributions from a multitude of different players gives the Big Red a hopeful glimpse into their immediate future.
“We think we have to win the title next year,” Glen Cove head coach Chris MacDonald said when asked what the group has in store for the following season. “We’ll have a lot of returning seniors next year … It’ll be those guys’ last shot at a high school championship, which is motivation.”
Some of those returning seniors that played a key role this year were Will Casale, a talented No. 1 singles player and Ryan Greenfield, a skilled and athletic No. 2 singles player that also competes on Glen Cove’s boys soccer team.
“[Casale and Greenfield] are both really talented and important guys for us, MacDonald said. “They played a big role this year and will be key upon returning as seniors next season.”
The strength of a unit is bolstered by the cohesion of the individuals, and the cohesive habits of many of the players on this team anchored the season-long success. Seniors Jose Santos and Sam Israel were a constant doubles pairing that combined for only one collective loss on the season, while compiling 13 wins in the process.
Alan Gansky and Brandon Kolonovich, two 8th graders playing at the varsity level, were a First Doubles pairing that showed true promise for the future of the program.
Luciano Tuo, another 8th grader with the skill level of a varsity player, served as the team’s Third Singles competitor.
“The 8th graders we had come up played a huge role for us,” said MacDonald. “Also, some of the older guys we have that are going to be seniors for us will be there to look to for the younger guys.”
The youth movement for Glen Cove doesn’t stop with the high school varsity team, though. MacDonald was very proud to announce that Glen Cove will be instituting a youth tennis program that will launch on May 23rd. The fundamentals of the game will be taught to 3rd through 5th graders through clinics and demonstrations. They will also get a little help and instruction from the high school team as well.
“I just think it’s important to have these kids learn and enjoy the sport earlier on,” MacDonald said. “Sure, there will be kids where their first exposure to tennis will be as a freshman in high school, but there will also be this new generation of kids that will learn the game at a young age.”
Although the Big Red tennis team has tasted success already, this program, in its truest sense of the word, looks to the future at the budding talent from all ages to carry the sport forward in Glen Cove.