BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Wolves wrapped the season finishing in seventh place at the MHSAA Boys Tennis State Finals in Midland.
“It was a wonderful weekend and I was really proud of the guys,” said Chas Claus, head coach. “They came to play and we did as well as we could have done.”
The boys finished with 11 points, tying with Northville as Ann Arbor Huron finished as state champions with 30 points.
“Everybody played well,” said Claus. “It’s always hard you go in to this, almost everybody ends their season on a loss for almost every team. It’s hard mentally to go in knowing you can’t measure a successful weekend by how you did – win or lose.”
Luke Baylis made it to the final round on Singles No. 2 with three wins against Austin Wieland from Traverse City Central, 6-2, 6-0; John Betrus from Port Huron Northern, 6-1, 6-1; and Brennan Cimpeanu from Troy, 6-4, 7-5. He finished in second place with a loss to Andrew Zhang from Bloomfield Hills, 6-1, 6-0.
“It’s something never been done,” Claus added. “It’s hard on that big stage.”
Alex Matisse, Jacob Burkett, Frankie Piana went 1-1 in their flights on the Singles court.
Matisse, Singles No. 1, had a win over Travis Bethke from Holland West Ottawa, 6-0, 6-0; and a loss to Port Huron Northern, 7-5, 6-3. Burkett, Singles No. 3, had a win against Ryan Gallagher from Northville, 7-6(3), 6-4; and a loss to Ann Arbor Huron, 7-5, 6-2. Piana, Singles No. 4, had a win over Zack Oesterle from Birmingham Brother Rice, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2; and a loss to Troy, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3.
David Carpenter and Tristan Greenlee went 1-1 for Doubles No. 1 with a win over Dominic Aquino and Adam Dykens from Holland West Ottawa, 6-2, 7-5; and a loss to Chris Cho and Brenden Chen from Ann Arbor Huron, 7-5, 6-1.
“I was really pleased they won a match as well,” said Claus. “Everybody played well. No one lost to an inferior team or failed to show up for the moment.”
Charlie Lussenhop and Jason Richards, Doubles No. 2; Ryan Knight and Cole Manilla, Doubles No. 3; and Shane McArthur and Luke Renchik, Doubles No. 4 finished the season with a loss during their first match.
The Wolves graduate eight seniors in the program Carpenter, Greenlee, Knight, Matisse, Renchik, Roman Patel, Brody Tuomi and Chase Walker.
“Up and down all eight of them are great guys,” said Claus. “I have enjoyed this team – personality wise. This team was unique.”
He added this year’s senior class was among the first to go to the state finals.
“Not only did they make it to to states, but they made it normal for us to go to states,” Claus said. “Alex was the cornerstone of the operation for the last four years. Before Alex we never made it to states and he made states all four years – three with the team and once as an individual qualifier.”
He added Greenlee also went to states since he was a freshman as a doubles player.
“These seniors have been a part of something for four years – before them wasn’t something we weren’t able to do,” Claus said. “For several decades we were always outside looking in. I was really gratified not only did they get us there once or twice but they normalized it. Now they leave and that’s the expectation.”
BY WENDI REARDON PRICE