Season preview: Boys tennis

The Naugatuck boys tennis team won the NVL championship in 2019 and is still defending champion after last season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. –FILE PHOTO


2019 results: 17-2; defeated Torrington to win NVL championship

Graduated: John Mezzo, Andre Sweet

Seniors: Fernando Moreno

Season opener: April 10 at Crosby

After losing last season to the COVID-19 pandemic, several players decided not to return.

The list includes seniors Chris Cook (All-NVL), D.J. Fine and Tim Rosa, and junior Justin Wilton. That leaves the Greyhounds a little shorthanded in experience this season, but creates opportunities for other players.

“Some of these newer players have a positive mindset,” Naugatuck head coach Brett Hayward said. “They have a great opportunity to learn the game of tennis and if they show up every day and work hard, good things will happen. Fernando (Moreno) will be a good leader for us, and be number one singles and will play at number one doubles.”


2019 results: 13-2; lost to Torrington in NVL semifinals

Graduated: Dante Polletta, Devon Polletta

Seniors: Austin Roberts

Season opener: April 10 at Wolcott

Woodland graduated a lot of experience since the team last took the court in the Naugatuck Valley League semifinals in 2019. The Hawks will also have a new coach on the sidelines this season.

Ryan McEvoy has taken over as coach for Mike Magas. McEvoy will be leaning on the experience and leadership of senior Austin Roberts, who played at No. 3 singles in 2019. Roberts will move up to No. 1 singles this year.

“Austin has been playing tennis since the seventh grade and will be a very good leader for this young team,” McEvoy said. “The boys have been playing together on their own since the nice weather began.”

“We may only have one senior, but we have good depth supported by our junior players,” he continued. “This team’s commitment and excitement for the game makes me confident that we will be a force to reckon with this year. I can’t wait for the journey to begin.”