April 12, 2006
First Place Suits Mariners Just Fine
So how does a boys tennis team that struggled through last season and lost nearly its entire starting lineup to graduation start its 2006 campaign with a 3-0 record? Well, if you're Southampton, a simple change of scenery can do wonders.
"We knew that there were some good teams in League VIII, but I think with the kids that we have in place this season, there's a new attitude here," said Mariners head coach Richard Wingfield. "The kids want to have success and it's showing out there on the court."
Southampton, which dropped down from League VII to League VIII this season is currently in first place with a flawless 3-0 league record and the Mariners have lost only a single point in the combined matches.
"We're just in a good place right now and everyone's very positive," Wingfield said. "I'm also blessed by having such good assistant coaches here and the kids have taken well to all of the tennis knowledge that is there for them to absorb.
"The skills, thrills and fundamentals that Jim Grigo and Vinny DeCerbo bring are just so important. They have both been very helpful and supportive." Lisa Alanwick, the new boys junior varsity tennis coach and a former Southampton High School graduate is another knowledgeable mind that has been added to the Mariners program.
Wingfield also pointed out that conditioning has helped the Mariners team get off to such a good start, along with the depth that the players have at both singles and doubles.
"We have a very strong singles group with John Ludlow, Jack Keenan, Barry Boice, and Phil Troung and with Richie Blitz and Cliff Cirruzo leading our team at first doubles along with our twins Josh and Matt King and Sam Larsen and Preston Zeh [at third doubles], we're going to be tough to beat." Adam Goldfarb, a talented freshman, is another player who is capable of filling in at either at singles or doubles when called upon.
"This team has a better attitude towards practicing this season," said Wingfield. "You tend to play like you practice. If they're practicing well, they're going to play well. This team enjoys the drill-work and the conditioning that is required in order to perform on the court. We set some goals for ourselves this season and one of them is to win our league. We want to be in the playoffs."