BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Wolves are gearing up for the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Boys Tennis Region tournament this Thursday at Clarkston High School.
“We are excited for the opportunity to see what we can do and hopefully earn another trip to the state finals,” said Chas Claus, head coach for Clarkston Boys Varsity Tennis. “It is easily the toughest region in the state.”
Teams also vying for a spot to make it to the state championship during the Region 7 meet is Bloomfield Hills, Lake Orion, Oxford, Rochester, Rochester Adams, Waterford Mott, and White Lake Lakeland.
Claus added playing in the OAA Red this season helped prepare the boys for competition.
“Like our region, I truly think the OAA Red is the toughest league in the state when you have such a concentration of good tennis in Oakland County and you have a league that’s built to be competitive,” Claus said. “It’s a very tough league from top to bottom. It’s tough but that’s why we play it. We want to play the best so we are ready for the biggest competitions. We took our lumps, as teams do. But also those flights have grown tremendously and the level they can complete with. We hope it pays off at regionals and if we get to the state finals a good performance there as well.”
The Wolves closed the regular season with a 5-4 loss against Brother Rice, Sept. 30.
“I was pleased with how we did against Brother Rice,” said Claus. “Our singles players did really well. It was the best I have seen us play in a long time. As far as teams in the state, I don’t know if there is a favorite to win the state championship. In my mind, Brother Rice could win it all. They are good enough to win it all. We are proud to do well against them.”
The four wins were on all the singles courts as Luke Baylis won his match over J.J. Etterbeek on Singles No. 1, 6-0, 6-1; Frank Piana over Doug Prew on Singles No. 2, 6-4, 6-0; Noah Fasczewski over Marcus Beaton on Singles No. 3, 6-3, 6-1; and Adam Zentner over Nathan Grobbel on Singles No. 4, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3.
“I thought Baylis had one of the more complete matches he has played all year,” said Claus. “Then, we had a marathon at four singles with Adam. He dropped the first set. I was really proud of him. He dug in and just continued to work the problem and continued to remind himself of the sorts of things he knew would pay dividends. He proved he was willing to work for it and I thought it was great. He pulled out a win somewhat after the sun went down. It was a good win.”
The regional competition is going on all day at the tennis courts behind the high school.
Kickers are gearing up for the postseason this week as they host West Bloomfield in the first round of district this Friday, 6 p.m.
The Clarkston Boys Varsity Soccer team prepared with three games last week which finished in two ties and one win.
The Wolves posted a 2-0 win over Ferndale last Thursday. Senior Owen Dollins closed the game with the second goal of the night with an assist from senior Ethan Wise.
The first goal came from sophomore Dylan Walker with an assist from senior Brendan Regelbrugge.
The Wolves played Stoney Creek on Oct. 1, finishing with a 2-2 tie with goals from Dollins and freshman Ritchie Ludwig, with an assist from Wise. Clarkston also tied against Detroit Catholic Central with each team scoring one goal, Sept. 30. Wise scored the goal with an assist from Walker in the first half. The Wolves (10-3-2) finished the regular season on Monday with a 2-1 win over Troy Athens. Walker had one goal and one assist. Dollins had one goal and Wise had an assist.