NHIAA D-II Boys' Tennis Championship: Freshmen lead way for Derryfield
BEDFORD — The Derryfield School won the NHIAA Division II boys’ tennis title Tuesday, defeating Portsmouth, 5-1.
The win capped a 17-0 season and earned the first title for the Cougars since they won seven straight Class M-S titles from 2003 to 2009. The Clippers ended 15-2, with both losses ciming to Derryfield.
The match was abbreviated, as both coaches agreed to not play the three doubles matches.
“We could have played it but at that moment (Derryfield) was having such a good time celebrating, it just seemed appropriate,” said Portsmouth coach Seab Stanton. “There were no players being left out. They all played and played well.”
“(Portsmouth) was a tight final. They pushed us today,” said Derryfield coach Bruce Berk. “I was not surprised. They are a very steady team.”
Derryfield played five freshmen, and they went 4-1. Freshmen Sam Grondin, Max Curtin, Gavin Schilling and Brock Higley all won their matches, as did junior John Cissel. Only freshman Ethan Chen fell, 8-2 to Portsmouth’s Jordan Schopick
Berk was not concerned about his youngsters. “They’ve won every close match that they had this season,” he said.
Stanton was also impressed with the Cougars’ “Fab Five.”
“Obviously very talented but also very polished,” said Stanton. “They are already mature, sophisticated talents. They will be very good for years to come.”
This marks Derryfield’s farewell to Division II. The Cougars will move up to Division I, along with Hanover, next season.
“We’re back to D-1. The kids are excited. They deserve the best competition,” said Berk.
And with a squad of championship-caliber players with three more years of eligibility, the Cougars might be on the verge of another long title run.
“As a coach all you want to see is your kids get better,” said Berk. “And these five? They make me proud.”