BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The changing weather last Thursday and changing locations for MHSAA Boys Tennis Regionals didn’t stop the Wolves from finishing in second place to qualify for state finals.
“We did real well,” said Chas Claus, head coach, on the boys making their fourth trip out of five years to Midland. “We were strong. We aimed for 21 points and got 20. Everybody came out and did their job – winning their first round match. Our singles won their second round match to be in the final. It really is a team effort. I was proud of us up and down the line up.”
Bloomfield Hills finished as champion with 31 points and Rochester Adams qualified scoring 18 points. Rochester missed going to state finals by one point, finishing with 17 points.
Jacob Burkett led the Wolves as he went undefeated for the day winning the championship on Singles No. 3 court. He defeated Davison’s Mitchell Rutkowski, 6-0, 6-0; Rochester Adams’ Jorge Rozas, 6-0, 6-0; and Bloomfield Hills’ Constantin Hemmrich by default.
Luke Baylis defeated Davison’s Austin Pariseau, 6-0, 6-0 on Singles No. 1 court; and Rochester Adams’ Julian Hyman, 6-1, 6-4. He lost to Andrew Zhang from Bloomfield Hills, 6-1, 6-4.
Frankie Piana beat Oxford’s Connor Romine in his first round, 6-0, 6-0 on Singles No. 2. He won the first set against Adams’ Josh Li, 6-2. Li took the second set, 6-3, before losing the third set to Piana, 6-2.
“He had a nice come back victory against Josh,” said Claus. “Frankie beat him twice in the regular season and we knew he was no slouch. Josh won the second set and was rolling for a while, but Frankie turned it around and took care of business. It was nice and kept us ahead of Rochester Adams.”
He finished regionals with a 6-2, 6-2 loss to Bloomfield Hills’ Tommy Herb.
Noah Fasczewski defeated Lake Orion’s James Bukowski, 6-1, 6-0 on Singles No. 4 court; and Rochester’s Michael Randall, 6-0, 6-2. He lost to Bloomfield Hills’ Andrew Chen, 6-4, 6-1.
On Doubles No. 1, Charlie Lussenhop and Jason Richards defeated Orion’s Spencer Powell and Sean Donahue, 6-0, 6-0. They lost to Adams’ Matt Heaphy and Alvin Chen, 6-3, 7-5.
Shane McArthur and Logan Knowlson defeated Orion’s Ty Selent and Aidan VanGessel, 6-4, 6-4 on Doubles No. 2 court.
“They probably had the first key match of the day,” said Claus. “It was a very close match when they played in the regular season. It wasn’t as close this time, but one I thought to have the potential to trip us up.”
They lost to Bloomfield Hills’ Vik Chakrabortty and Chaz Blamo, 6-0, 6-1.
Jed Horst and Max Meehan defeated Waterford Mott’s Tristan Xiong and Chris Sadik, 6-0, 6-0 on Doubles No 3 court. They lost to Bloomfield Hills’ Adrian Wilen and Chris Sauer, 6-0, 6-0.
Evan Walsh and Adam Zentner defeated Orion’s 6-0, 6-1 on Doubles No. 4. They lost to Bloomfield Hills’ Kyle Peres and Alex Walkon, 6-2, 6-0.
Claus added with changing weather throughout the day flight had to be moved from Clarkston High School to Deer Lake Athletic Club back to the high school then to Bloomfield Hills with four matches left to play.
“It was strange in that way,” he shared. “I was proud of my kids because a lot of times when environmentally things are abnormal it gets surreal. I had some concerns our team would lose focus.”
It’s the fourth time in five years the Wolves have qualified for states and Claus is proud of the boys.
“I am glad for the guys who built this,” he added. “I am glad for Matt Dahl, Joey and Johnny Whall, Brendan Greenlee, Mitch Rogowski, those guys who have been around since the beginning. I am glad their legacy is being carried on by this generation. Hopefully we can keep it up. Clarkston went from a team that never went to states to it’s a regular now. I am happy they have a chance to go back to the finals and continue to prove themselves.”
The Wolves compete in the state finals this Friday and Saturday in Division 1 at Greater Midland Tennis Center.
BY WENDI REARDON PRICE