March 29, 2006

Youth Will Lead Bonackers

First-year coach Josh Brussell will guide a young East Hampton boys tennis team this season as the Bonackers once again prepare to compete in one of the toughest leagues in Suffolk County.

Sean Bridgewater, a Pierson product, leads East Hampton's singles squad this spring and having been on the varsity since eighth grade, his experience will prove to be beneficial to one of the youngest Bonackers teams in recent memory. "Tennis is his thing," said Brussell. "Sean's got good power and good control and he also has an excellent forehand. He's a real standout player."

Heath Heneveld, a junior from East Hampton is another anchor at #2 singles. An all-around athlete, Heneveld has looked fantastic in recent practices despite suffering a serious leg injury while playing football last year. Like Bridgewater, Heneveld is a complete player who hasn't begun to hit his peak on the court.

Currently, there are three players battling for the Bonackers' next three singles positions as junior John Jammet, sophomore Matt Classens, and eighth grader James Strauss all vie for position. Strauss was called up from the junior varsity and has shown both quickness on the court and a strong forehand while Classens is a live wire with lots of talent and enthusiasm according to Brussell. Jammett may not participate in East Hampton's first match due to a minor back injury.

The Bonackers' doubles teams are still being sorted out although the team of juniors Tommy Piaccintin and Ken Wessberg appear to be closing in on the top spot. Both played doubles on junior varsity last year and they are each tall, lanky players that bring unique talents to the court. "Ken has a nice slice serve and is big at the net while Tom has a great forehand and a strong well-balanced backhand," Brussell said. "I'm pretty excited to see how they play."

Freshman Brian Fink is a tall player that oozes potential while John Sanabria, another freshman, has shown solid all-around skills. "We've got good depth at doubles," said Brussell. "The freshmen might struggle at the start, but they'll develop confidence as they play more."

Seniors Gus Horwith and Mike McCall are varsity veterans and junior Sag Harbor representative Ian Diner along with James Bayorami have played as a doubles team in the past. Elon Silver, a junior from Sag Harbor and JJ Burke, a sophomore from East Hampton both possess the skills and aggressiveness that are required to move up the depth ladder quickly.

"I'm looking for them [the team] to go as far as they possibly can this season," the coach said. "I have to see them play a few games and familiarize myself with all of them. As long as this team can play with intensity and fire, I don't see why we can't be above .500. We're not looking at this as a rebuilding year; we're just taking a gung-ho approach and we're excited to see what we can do."

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