Boys tennis: the road to a state title

Lindsay Freidenrich, Business Manager

As tennis season rolls around, the WHS boys team is getting ready for another successful year. After ending last season with a ranking of No. 3 in the state, the boys are looking forward to continuing a 14-year-long streak of winning the Union County Tournament, with additional hopes of reclaiming the state title that they won 2 years ago.

The team’s captains, seniors Rob Faktor and Damien Ruparel, have an optimistic outlook this season. According to these two, the team’s success can be attributed to the group’s dynamic. “We’ve been such a strong team every year,” Faktor said. “It’s a great feeling to know that even if you lose your match, the rest of the team is strong enough to still pull out the team win.”

Senior David Sprung has similar feelings about the strength of the team’s bond. “If we’re talking about dynamic, we’re talking about camaraderie,” Sprung said. “It’s a great group of guys and hopefully we can bring home a state title.”

Ruparel, who has been on the team since freshman year and will be playing tennis at Amherst College next year, is even more motivated with this being his final year at WHS. “The past four years basically flew by,” Ruparel said. “There have been ups and downs, but being on a powerhouse team has allowed us to contend for a state championship every year. We just have to work hard and expect nothing but the best.”

Junior Matt Bartok isn’t worried about the team’s upcoming successes, even after the graduation of standout players like his brother, Owen, and cousin, Noah Reich, last year. “Despite losing a few key players, our team is still very strong,” Bartok said. “I still think [we] will be able to compete with the other top teams, and we definitely have the ability to win [states] if we stay focused throughout the entire season.”

How do these boys plan on getting all the way to states yet again? Faktor said their game plan is to stay humble and work hard. “The guys we have are just as talented as any team out there, so we need to train hard playing against each other to prepare for the other top teams,” he said.

Sprung is confident in the Blue Devils’ abilities during his final season at WHS. “We’re ready to win, win, and win some more,” he said. “You’ve got to beat the best in order to be the best.”

Photo by Lindsay Freidenrich
Seniors Damien Ruparel and Rob Faktor.