Boys tennis: With Farrell gone, depth will be key

For several years, the Wilton High boys tennis team’s strength was at the top of the lineup.

But that changes this season, as four-time Class L state champ Noah Farrell has graduated.

But with the Warriors seeing the benefits of a big freshman class two years ago, now moving into the varsity ranks, the loss of Farrell will be offset, somewhat, by team depth.

“We’re pretty deep,” said Head Coach Chris Damone. “My doubles teams are going to be very good going forward. We have six to seven juniors, which is great. I think our strength will be at the bottom of the lineup.”

Wilton, which begins the season Wednesday at home against Trinity Catholic, is coming off a a 12-6 season, finishing sixth in the FCIAC. In addition to Farrell, the team graduated four other starters in Ned Culnane, Conner King, Alex Lord and Brandon Turk.

Anchoring the singles rotation will be senior captains Ian Erickson and Gerrit Gaillard, both returning starters who will vie for number-one spot this season. Damone doesn’t expect them to match Farrell’s dominating standards, but expects them to hold their own against a very tough slate of FCIAC competition.

“If they can go .500 at one and two, that would be great,” he said.

Three returning varsity players moving into the starting lineup are junior Timothy Sullivan and Alex Hattenbach, and sophomore Quentin Thouvenot.

Two other returners, senior Ryan Black and junior Jordan Lord, will play either singles or at first doubles. Lord, also a team captain, played first doubles last year with his brother Alex.

Junior Ryan Walsh, a returning starter at doubles, is back and will team up with fellow junior newcomer Nicolas Fiol. The other doubles teams feature new varsity players in junior Tim Watson and sophomore Bennett Watson, and junior Max Najarian and senior Rod-Djaly Thoby.

As of Tuesday, the final roster had yet to be finalized.