Mattituck coach Mike Huey certainly likes what he sees from his high school boys tennis team.
After all, the Tuckers have three of their four top singles players returning from an 11-5 team that captured the Suffolk County League VII crown last spring and some good depth as well.
“I think we have a good shot to win it all,” he said of the league possibilities.
Two seniors will anchor the team. First singles player Garrett Malave, an all-county selection, reached the divisional semifinals last year.
“We expect big things out of him,” Huey said.
Parker Tuthill, who will compete at the second spot, is coming off an all-league season in which he lost only once.
Junior Ty Bugdin has been slotted in at fourth singles after recording a 10-3 mark last year. Huey lauded Budgin’s “solid play.”
A pair of youngsters will make up one doubles combination — sophomore Tucker Johanson and freshman Luke Kosmynka. They forged an 8-5 record performing together last year.
Junior Chris Waggoner, better known for his soccer feats, came out for the team for the first time. Huey doesn’t know where he will fit in just yet, in singles or doubles.
“He looks really good,” Huey said. “I was wondering where he was the past couple of years.”
Others vying for starting spots include seniors Matt Wells and Austin Gao, who are expected to play doubles.
“The rest of the team is fighting for a job,” Huey said. “There’s a lot of parity down there.”
As there is in League VII.
“The league is going to be tough,” Huey said. “There is going to be a lot of parity in the league. I like our chances with the top three. We’re going to have a lot of close matches.”
Huey said he expected the Tuckers’ biggest foe to be East Hampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson, which moved up after winning the 2015 League VIII title.
As it turns out, Mattituck will open up at the Bonackers on March 29. The Tuckers will have a home return match on April 18. They open at home against Westhampton Beach on April 4.
At the very least, Southold/Greenport (8-4) is expected to be competitive in League VIII.
Whether he has coached tennis or soccer, coach Andrew Sadowski’s squads have a history of performing well and improving as the season progresses.
“I was very pleased with the effort,” he said. “We’ve hoping to be competitive again, even though we lost quite a lot to graduation.”
Sadowski hasn’t decided on his lineup just yet, but he has several players contending for top spots.
Two seniors figure to play key roles for the Clippers — Aidan Walker and Aidan Vandenburgh.
Freshmen Xavier and Jacob Kahn are twins who performed admirably as eight-graders on the varsity team last year and have shown improvement.
“They performed very well for the quality of our league,” Sadowski said.
“We’re looking to see growth, development and maturity,” he continued. “We’ve had a good start.”
Four players have moved up from the junior varsity team: seniors Ethan Sisson and Dylan Van Gorden, sophomore Mario Contreras and freshman Devin Quinones.
Sadowski said he was pleased with Fisson’s “improvement and what he’s going to bring to the doubles team.”
Southold/Greenport will open its season in a non-league clash at home against Comsewogue on March 29.
Photo caption: Mattituck senior Garrett Malave, an all-county player, reached the division semifinals last year. (Credit Katharine Schroeder)