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Falcon boys' tennis preview
RUMFORD -- It will be like starting over for the Mountain Valley boys' tennis team because as the sea ebbs and flows, so does the field of available athletes for any sports team.
In these times of declining enrollment, the Falcons are pressed sometimes to even muster enough players to fill all seven starting positions.
“Fortunately a tennis team is only required to have three players to start a match,” said MV coach Todd Papianou, as it is feasible to win a match with three singles. "Luckily, after combing the halls, I have a roster of nine (last week) with more to come as the weather outside warms and improves.”
The current state of affairs is shocking, after last year's great success brought on by an influx of foreign
Notably, Toni Weber who was voted the top boys' player by the Sun Journal. Weber came up a little shy in the actual singles state tourney, being beat out in a close match to the eventual runner-up.
The best local talent from last year, Jamie Hutchins, graduated and is at UMaine, following an excellent season anchoring singles at the third position.
“So this year, rebuilding would be the understatement of the year,” said Papianou. “I'm committed with the task of taking several first year tennis players and in 30 days of fielding a team for competition. I absolutely love the challenge and look forward to every practice as these young men face their own learning curves toward developing a lifelong skill.”
Papianou feels confident that a couple of players will shine this year, including returning exhibition player junior Randolf Angotti, who will be battling for a ladder spot with new players like freshman Alex Durfee and junior Justin Roy.
One challenge this season will be working hard to keep spirits high and retain a positive attitude in light of the inexperience.
“With no returning letter winners, this is truly a daunting task,” said Papianou. “We had a couple sophomore athletes from last year who chose other opportunities this spring. But we’ll go with the kids we have.”
Papianou is just happy to have an opportunity helping young players find their swing and themselves around the court.