Boys tennis: Strong core group bolstered by formidable freshmen
Despite graduating five starters from last year’s team, the Wilton High boys tennis team doesn’t plan on taking a step back this spring.
That’s what happens when you bring in one of the strongest freshman classes Wilton’s ever had.
“I have a really strong freshman class,” said head coach Chris Damone, who expects four ninth graders to be in the starting lineup when the Warriors open the season today at Bridgeport Central. “They’re match tough.”
Highlighting the freshman class is Nick Condos, the top-ranked player in his age group in the state, and a nationally ranked player. Condos will move into the spot at first singles and should take the FCIAC and state by storm.
“He’s going to be special,” said Damone.
Even with the loss of its top two singles players from a year ago, Gerrit Gaillard and Ian Erickson, Wilton’s singles rotation should be very strong as well. There are three returning starters in seniors Timothy Sullivan and Alexander Hattenbach and junior Quentin Thouvenot, who will be joined by another talented freshman, John Cassone.
Wilton’s number-one doubles team, which lost only twice last season, may be even stronger this year, with returning starter Jordan Lord, a senior, paired up with a very talented freshman, Henry Murphy, to form a formidable unit.
“They can do some damage,” said Damone.
At second doubles to open the season, the Warriors will pair up returning starter Ryan Walsh, a senior, with freshman Conrad Emerson, for what Damone thinks can be another strong team.
Also in the mix are seniors Max Najarian and Preston Turk.
Damone said the depth and talent of this year’s boys tennis varsity and JV teams is impressive.
“The great thing is, of the 30 kids on the team, 20 of them are varsity-level players. We’re very deep,” he said. “We’re going to be a tough out.”
Damone said gutting out tough matches will be the key to the season. Last year, five of Wilton’s nine losses came by scores of 4-3. The Warriors will need their “match toughness, because it’s going to come down to that,” he said. “When you have players that can do that, you’re going to be tough.”
Notes: Last year, Wilton finished 9-9 overall. It lost to Staples in the FCIAC quarterfinals, and finished sixth at the Class L tournament.
Captains of this year’s team are Hattenbach, Lord and Sullivan.