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Freshmen Joseph Cartledge and Michael Fleming lead the Raiders, who will play on resurfaced courts.
Monday, April 8, 2013
The North Cross tennis program continues to grow.
The grass and other leafy vegetation that once sprouted up through the school’s courts no longer do.
North Cross was the beneficiary of a gift made by Roanoke attorney and former college tennis player John Fishwick, who helped bankroll a complete restoration of the school’s hilltop facility.
All six courts were resurfaced. New fencing was erected. New nets were installed. Brush was cleared away from the exterior, and some from the interior.
It is a facelift that has produced many smiles.
“It brings a whole new kind of confidence to the team to know we’re on the best courts we’ll play on all year,” North Cross boys coach Rob Robillard said. “Every time we host a match, I think it’s going to give us an edge.”
Fishwick, whose son Jack is a freshman on the North Cross team, played for the Raiders in the early 1970s when he was in the eighth grade.
He graduated from a boarding school in New England and later played men’s tennis at Harvard. Fishwick has continued to be a presence on the local amateur scene into his mid-50s.
“Tennis, I think, is just a great lifetime sport. Jack and I play pretty much every weekend year-round. I played with my father. Now I play with Jack. It’s been great fun for us. It’s a wonderful way for us to stay in touch with each other.
“It was also a good way to help the school.”
North Cross freshmen Joseph Cartledge and Michael Fleming play at the top of the Raiders’ boys lineup and are considered among Timesland’s premier singles players.
Both players are grateful for the improvements to a facility that had seen better days.
“Cracks in the court; they had grass growing in it,” Cartledge said. “It’s a lot better.”
Cartledge (No. 1 singles), Fleming (No. 2) and eighth-grader Aiden Davy (No. 3) have helped North Cross to a 5-1 start. The lone loss came 5-4 at defending VIS Division II state champ Covenant.
Cartledge and Fleming were North Cross’ lone singles winners.
Former state champion returns to Titans’ lineup
Who is the lone returning state champion to a Timesland roster?
OK, it’s a trick question.
The answer is Hidden Valley’s Ceyda Durmaz.
Durmaz, who skipped her sophomore and junior seasons after teaming with Kristin Harter to win the 2010 Group AA girls doubles title, is playing No. 1 singles this spring for the Titans.
Durmaz missed the last two high school seasons while she was enrolled in the Johan Kriek Tennis Academy. However, Kriek moved to Charlotte, N.C.
Hidden Valley coach Lindy Stetson said she learned two weeks before the start of practice that Durmaz wanted to return to the program.
“Because she’s back, I’m able to put some other people where they need to be,” Stetson said.
With returning All-Timesland players Emma Barker and Abby Dixon each bumped down a notch in the lineup, Hidden Valley dropped a 5-4 match to defending Group AA champion E.C. Glass.
The Titans should be even stronger when highly touted Caroline Hearp recovers from a shoulder injury.
Salem’s Drougas back after bypassing 2012
The last image of Michael Drougas in a Salem tennis uniform was of joyous teammates giving him a victory ride off the Virginia Tech courts following the Spartans’ 2011 Group AA boys team title.
Drougas dropped just one set at No. 4 singles for the Spartans two years ago and would have been No. 1 on the team last year, but he enrolled briefly at a boarding school in Ohio and was not eligible under VHSL rules when he returned to Salem for the second semester.
Drougas is atop Salem’s lineup this spring and is one of a handful of standouts in the running for Timesland player of the year.
Hidden Valley boys add German standout
Hidden Valley’s boys lineup got stronger from the top down when the Titans added German exchange student Tim Roehr at the No. 1 singles spot.
Roehr is expected to challenge Salem’s Michael Drougas for the River Ridge District and Region IV titles.
“He said he played Mikey in a practice match and they split sets and didn’t get to finish,” Hidden Valley coach Ryan Teague said.
“I knew by talking to him when he first came here he wasn’t just a casual tennis player. After seeing him hit for a couple of weeks you’re like, ‘Yeah, he’s serious.’ ”
Roehr, a 6-foot-1 right-hander, does not play the typical baseline game employed by most high school tennis players.
“He likes to play the net,” Teague said. “Out of the kids I’ve had here, he probably likes to come to the net more than any of them.”
Roehr has led Hidden Valley to a 5-0 start, including an 8-1 victory over defending Region III champion E.C. Glass.
Franklin County coach completes comeback
Almost eight months ago, Mike Amos suffered a heart attack.
Now the Franklin County boys tennis coach is back on the job. More importantly, he is alive and healthy after his daughter, Whitney, and son, Hunter, performed CPR when he collapsed inside his Rocky Mount home.
Amos returned last winter to coach Franklin County’s middle school basketball team. He hasn’t missed a beat this spring.
“I’m back in the saddle,” Amos said. “I’m feeling good.”
Joel Worford, a second-team All-Timesland boys pick last year, has transferred from Jefferson Forest to Group AAA Monacan High in Richmond. … Freshmen Mason Wheeler and Ciara Mulcahy are playing No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively for Patrick Henry’s girls. … Bassett’s No. 1 girls player, Claudia Morris, has committed to Division II King (Tenn.). … Both reigning Blue Ridge District singles champions — Rockbridge County’s Kunal Gandhi and Northside’s Karlie Pope — are back to defend their 2012 titles. … Region C singles titles should be wide open. All four 2012 boys and girls singles champions graduated including three-time Group A girls champ Grace Sarver, who is playing No. 1 at Milligan (Tenn.). … Mariana Hermosilla de Casco is the new girls coach at North Cross. She is assisted by her husband, Pedro Casco, a former teaching pro in Argentina. … Jack Johnson is the new boys head coach at Carlisle, replacing Rives Coleman.
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