By Ryan Butler
After proving themselves as the best team in the eastern part of Hillsborough County, the Newsome High School Boy’s tennis team is looking to carry that success into the playoffs. Beginning the season with a 10-1 record, the Wolves will put their season on the line in district play in April.
“I think it’s gone very well. It’s better than we have been the past several years,” said junior, Garrett Watson, the team’s number one player. “We’ve pulled out some really close wins against teams like Freedom and Gaither.”
Along with victories over the Patriots and Cowboys, Newsome also beat Plant City, one of the best teams in the Wolves’ district. NHS won a tight 4-3 decision missing its number two player against a Raiders’ squad missing its top two players. The likely post-season match-up will be one of the most anticipated of the post-season and could very well determine which squad advances to the Regional tournament.
“We probably have a strong chance at districts. It depends on Plant city. They’re our competition for second place,” Watson said.
Watson took over as the number one player over senior, Alex Meucci, at the start of this of this season. Meucci steps into the second spot, giving the Wolves a strong one-two punch at the top of the lineup. Junior Cameron Lair, sophomore Chris Council, junior John Masselink, sophomore Nick Olivares and Jonas Dunlap round out the top seven.
The deep roster’s lone loss came to Wharton, a perennial state power. In a season where Newsome has rolled over multiple opponents with relative ease, the loss to the Wildcats could provide an important lesson for the Wolves. As the competition level increases in the playoffs, key, tight games, and learning how to win them, could be the difference between advancing or going home.
For more information about the team, visit c2csports.com. For more information about the upcoming tennis district tournament, visit fhsaa.org.