Southold/Greenport has a good portion of its high school boys tennis team back, although the degree of difficulty could be a bit tougher this season.
That’s because it will compete in Suffolk County League VII, rather than League VIII. The county leagues are broken down by geography and ability. Since the First Settlers had their first three singles players and No. 1 doubles team returning from a 10-2 season, they had the option of playing in a league that includes Rocky Point, Ross, Westhampton Beach and East Hampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson.
“It was time to see what the boys can do at the high level,” coach Andrew Sadowski said. “It’ll be a challenge. One of the things we talked about last season was winning the League VIII title and the possibility of being promoted.”
In a rare three-way tie for the crown, Southold finished with the same record as Mattituck and Southampton.
“We just want to compete,” Sadowski said. “Hopefully, we can find a way at earning a spot in the county team playoffs.”
Sadowski has plenty to be optimistic about as his three top singles players return — juniors Xavier and Jacob Kahn and sophomore Cole Brigham. Junior Van Karsten, who didn’t play last year, will man the fourth singles post.
Junior Devin Quinones and senior Mario Contreras will team at the first doubles spot, while Alex Kandora and Matt Civiok are slated for the No. 2 slot.
Senior Jared Palumbo has been penciled in at the third doubles position. There are many candidates to team with Palumbo. That includes seniors Parker Bakowski, Jack Koslosky, John Gensler and John Bertchi and juniors Ethan Vandenburgh, John Montgomery and Joe Cichanowicz.
“There are constant battles for playing time,” Sadowski said. “When they have the opportunity challenge each other, they will, I’m sure.”
Mattituck suffered some key losses to graduation, so coach Mike Huey believes his team will be somewhere in the middle of the pack in League VII. He said Southampton and William Floyd will be the teams to beat.
“Hopefully, we’ll pull off some upsets,” he said.
The Tuckers will rely on their one-two punch of senior Tucker Johansson and junior Luke Kosmynka in singles.
“They’re very, very close,” said Huey, who said he might switch the duo depending on form or which opponents Mattituck will face.
“My Nos. 1 and 2 are playing really good,” he added. “They’re playing with power, hitting the ball well and they’ve been pretty consistent. They have a fascination for the game. They love the game and they’ve improved a lot. And, they play against each other all the time.”
Senior Sam Fish, whom Huey said is “a very consistent player,” is slotted for third singles. “I’m hoping for some good things from him,” he said.
Junior Joey Sciotta is set for fourth singles. “He should do well at No. 4,” Huey said.
The three doubles teams are pretty well set as well.
A pair of wrestlers, senior Luke Bokina, a state champion, and junior Brian Feeney, will team up at No. 1. “They are very competitive and figure out a way to win,” Huey said.
Juniors Savvas Giannaris and Chris Siejka will man the second doubles slot. Another junior, Kyle Schwartz, is set to be one of the third doubles players. He will team with either senior Jake Sciara or junior Timmy Davis.
The Tuckers also will compete with Eastport-South Manor, Center Moriches, Hampton Bays, William Floyd and Riverhead in league play.
Photo caption: Junior Xavier Kahn is one of Southold/Greenport’s top singles players. (Credit: file photo)