The 2008 DHS boys’ tennis team is looking to reclaim the ACL title after seeing their nine-year run as league champions ended by the Hingham Harbormen last season. The squad has big shoes to fill, as Coach John Bunar will be looking to fill the holes at #1 and #2 singles created by the departures of Sean Burke and Willie Tucker (Hobart), as well as trying to replace doubles specialist Teddy Geldmacher.

The 2008 DHS boys’ tennis team is looking to reclaim the ACL title after seeing their nine-year run as league champions ended by the Hingham Harbormen last season. The squad has big shoes to fill, as Coach John Bunar will be looking to fill the holes at #1 and #2 singles created by the departures of Sean Burke and Willie Tucker (Hobart), as well as trying to replace doubles specialist Teddy Geldmacher.

A pair of players will be fighting it out for the #1 singles slot, including senior co-captain Stefan Seman and a potential star in freshman Brayden Minihan.

Seman, who was a major force in doubles in 2007, not only brings power and quickness to the singles court, but also has a great deal of experience under pressure. Bunar will be relying on his steadiness and leadership in tough matches.{sidebar id=4}

 

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Kevin Scott, Stefan Seman and Dan Pannell
“Minihan has been a blessing,” said Bunar. “Coaching tennis at Duxbury always brings the luxury of getting a trained and driven freshman player every few years. Brayden has it all. He’s a nice kid who will be the next in a long line of great tennis players at DHS.”

 

The two have been battling regularly in the preseason and Bunar says the decision on who is #1 may not be made until game day.{sidebar id=1}

“I’m not sure how the #1 position is going to shake out, but I am confident that either player can do the job for us,” said the Dragons’ coach.

The #3 slot appears the domain of senior co-captain Dan Pannell, who has shown well in the preseason.

“Danny should be even tougher this season. His improved strength and quickness make him even better than he was last year,” said Bunar.

The Duxbury coach has been using the days before today’s opening-day match with Sandwich to settle on his doubles combos. Based on the results of challenge matches, the always-tough Duxbury duos will be comprised of senior tri-captain Kevin Scott, junior James Rich, junior Connor Dunphy and junior TJ Scholberg.

“It is going to be tough to pen the initial lineup. Hopefully we get a couple of players to gel quickly and the decision will take care of itself,” said Bunar. “Dunphy really made an effort to make the lineup this season. I can’t wait to see what he can do with all the improvements in his game, while Scholberg is Scholberg. I knew he would come in driven and ready to compete because he loves this sport. He is a winner for us.”

“Scott’s best weapons are a heavy serve and big forehand,” noted Bunar. “While Rich does not have the experience, I am confident his power and mental toughness will pull out big wins for us.” 

Bunar does have the luxury of a deep bench with seniors Matt Pierce and Evan Spolidoro, juniors Michail Larkin, James Witten, TJ Cameron and Kevin Dame, along with sophomores Peter Tenaglia and Stephen Day, who have proven they have the skills to play.

“I know what Spolidoro and Pierce can do in doubles. If there is any falter in our play or injuries, those two have proven they can win.”  

This year’s net squad will once again have to do battle with a talented Hingham squad for the Patriot League title.

“I’m not sure we have an answer for junior Alex Chin (Hingham’s #1), but we look very competitive at the other positions against them,” said a confident Bunar. “If we get big efforts on the right day, we can take them down.”

Before taking on the Harbormen next Wednesday afternoon in Duxbury, the Dragons will host the Blue Knights of Sandwich at 3:30 today, then travel to Marshfield on Friday for a 3:30 match with the Rams.{sidebar id=4}