Honesdale boys will be coached by Keith Andrews this season
The Hornets struggled on the boys varsity tennis scene last season, but showed flashes of promise that hinted at a bright future.
Honesdale had its hands full in the always-rugged Lackawanna League, closing out the campaign with a record of 3-11.
This spring, the Red & Black enter a a brand new era under the direction of a first year coach
Keith Andrews brings a wealth of experience with him to the Maple City, having coached for 11 years at Indian Hills High School in Oakland, New Jersey.
“We're pretty young,” Coach Andrews said. “We only have four seniors and two of them have never played organized tennis before. I guess it would be fair to say that this will be a rebuilding year for us.”
The Hornets, like many other local teams, have been battling the weather over the course of the season's first two weeks.
Honesdale was scheduled to play Holy Cross (March 26) and West Scranton (April 3), but both matches were postponed.
The local lads finally managed to open up their 2018 campaign Wednesday at Delaware Valley. And, even though they suffered a 5-0 shutout, Coach Andrews was pleased with the effort he observed.
“To be honest, I don't think the score was really indicative of how well we played,” he said. “I saw some very good things out there from all our kids.”
The Red & Black made their home debut Thursday despite chilly temperatures and gusty wins.
Once again, the Hornets put up a gallant struggle, but came out on the short end of a 3-2 score against Wallenpaupack Area.
Weather permitting, the local lads will be back in action Monday afternoon at Scranton High School.
All Lackawanna League regular season matches start at 4 p.m.
On the Court
Jason Demers is at the top of Honesdale's line-up this year.
A talented, hard-working sophomore, Demers returns for his second season at the varsity level.
“Jason is a leader on the court,” Coach Andrews said. “He thinks through his matches. He moves well out there and has a very consistent serve.”
Nick Theobald is a senior and battle-tested veteran. He's holding down the second singles spot this year and serving as one of the team captains.
“Nick is an inspirational kind of kid,” said Coach Andrews. “He's my right hand man as far as the players go. Nick knows how to move the ball around the court.”
Ethan Rickard has carved out a spot for himself in the starting line-up. A freshman who's admittedly a little bit raw, Rickard is already earning high marks from his mentor.
“Ethan is kind of quiet and reserved, but he's a hard worker who really wants to learn the game,” said Coach Andrews. “One of the things I like best about Ethan is that he's always hustling on the court.”
Honesdale's doubles teams also appear to have sorted themselves out already this spring.
Shea Stanton (Sr) and John Christiansen (Fr) lead the way at number one.
“Shea really improved his game over the winter and he has a great attitude,” Coach Andrews said. “And, John's come a very long way in a short amount of time. He has a bright future.”
Matt Tracy (Sr) and Pat Tolerico (Sr) will be at number two.
“Matt gives the team everything he has,” Coach Andrews said. “He's an aggressive kid with a pretty big serve. Pat is a southpaw with a big, sweeping forehand that reminds me a little bit of Rod Laver.”
Over & Out
Abington Heights and Scranton Prep are expected to be the cream of the crop this season, at both the league and district levels.
The Comets rampaged to the “Big School” division title in 2017 with a perfect 14-0 record. They then defeated Williamsport Area in the finals to claim the Class AAA crown.
The Cavaliers were very nearly as impressive, rolling to a 13-1 league record and advancing to the Class AA title tilt. There, though, they absorbed a 3-1 setback at the hands of Wyoming Seminary.
Locally, Paupack should be in the hunt for a “Big School” championship this spring. Honesdale and Western Wayne hope to be consistently competitive in the “Small School” bracket.
“This is a talented team with a lot of potential, a lot of upside,” Coach Andrews said. “All the kids work hard and they all want to learn.
“I'm hoping to see a little bit of improvement, a little bit of growth each and every match. That's my main goal this season.”