Spring previews: Bedford boys gunning for title No. 10
The goal is simple, a perfect 10 for the Bedford High boys tennis team, as in its 10th straight state title.
This time, it won’t be easy, considering the graduation of No. 1 Rohit Yerram.
“The boys are motivated to compete for the 2019 state team championship,” said coach Shawna Morley. “We know that it will not be easy to defend our title because of the number of strong teams such as Hanover, Pinkerton, Exeter and Concord.
“The coaches are pleased that the Bulldogs worked extremely hard in the offseason and we are as motivated as ever on getting better. Practices this spring have been very competitive.
The key to the success of the Bulldogs is their love for this game.”
Bedford went 16-1 a year ago and is 147-2 since 2010.
Senior tri-captains Jason Boucher, Jared Steinberg and Tyler Whitney are showing great leadership, keeping the squad focused and motivated.
That trio and Cameron Nelson and Alex Tjie will be right there in the mix.
Sophomores battling for varsity time include Nick Bayer, Bohdan Higley, Alex Smith, Vidhur Narayan and Blake Corbi.
Freshman Derek Dong has delivered a strong preseason performance and also figures into the starting mix.
A trip to the 2018 state finals and an overtime loss there have only motivated the Bulldogs to take it one step further in 2019.
“One game at a time, get better everyday. Stay focused and finish,” said coach Christina Hodgdon. “We’re working hard and building chemistry.”
U.S. Lacrosse All-Americans Hannah McCarthy and Sydney Lynch will again lead the Bulldogs. Captain Grace Rooney, Ella DiTomasso and goalie Hannah Paradise anchor one of the state’s top defensive units.
Zoe Michaud, Chamberlane Bell, Riley Chou and Courtney Dermody are all starters returning up front. They are better and remain driven.
Junior Mackenzie MacEachern is an all-state midfield and Jillian Bell should be another strong contributor there.
Coach Emily Blahnik’s crew finished fifth in the Division I State Meet a year ago, and there is again optimism for a strong finish to 2019.
“It’s a true dedicated team,”said Blahnik. “I’m excited about some surprises. Kids are trying many events for the first time with a ton of freshmen involved. There is a strong senior class with positive attititudes. I love this team already. It’s my first time being the boys head coach and I’m loving every minute of it.”
Lucien Mumpini is a threat to win any triple or long jump he enters and athletic classmate Zach Garron joins the mix as well. He’s sure to push his state title-winning football teammate.
Junior Zach Verow is another Bulldog with state title potential in the sprints, while senior Aidan Kenny will rack up big points in the middle distances.
Zach Gamache and Matt Flanagan are a pair of distance sophomores to watch among a rising group of young Bedford stars.