Blogs > In the Zone

Jason Schmitt is the editor of, the high school sports website for The Oakland Press. He has served as the sports editor for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak and the Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. In his time in the industry, he has covered every high school sport and has served a a beat writer for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, hockey, wrestling, bowling and cross country.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Here are my 2015 boys tennis finals predictions

Time is running short, so I'm going to scale back this fall. Here are my predictions on each of the four divisions - Top 10 teams and flight finalists. Good luck to all this weekend.

Novi 30, Ann Arbor Pioneer 25, Bloomfield Hills 22, Ann Arbor Huron 22, Troy 20, Northville 18, Brother Rice 14, Grosse Pointe South 13, Port Huron Northern 10, Clarkston 9, Grandville 5, Traverse City Central 4, Eisenhower 3, Midland 2, Grand Blanc 2, Troy Athens 1, Holt 1, Livonia Churchill 1, Rockford 1, Caledonia 1, Kalamazoo Central 1, Utica 0

Flight Finalists
1S  — Connor Johnston (Northville) d. Koushik Kondapi (Novi)
2S  — Alex Wen (Novi) d. Chris Adams (PHN)
3S  —  Constantine Hemmrich (Bloomfield Hills) d. Sid Amarnath (Novi)
4S  —  Brad Silverman (Bloomfield Hills) d. Henry Fuchs (AAP)
1D  —  Maxx Anderson-Daniel Yu (Novi) d. John Sullivan-Nick Costakis (GPS)
2D  —  Aditya Chitta-Robert Chen (Novi) d. Austin Choi-Robert Dong (AAH)
3D  —  Gabe Kleer-Josh Lee (AAP) d. Michael Song-Spencer Liu (Troy)
4D  — Matt Kelley-Henry Zhou (AAH) d. Nikhil Kaila-Grant McLean (AAP)

My thoughts
It took Novi a long, long time to get its first tennis state championship. It may take just one year to get #2. The Wildcats certainly earned their great seeds with solid wins over Troy, Ann Arbor Pioneer and Bloomfield Hills. Getting good seeds can mean all the difference. Bloomfield Hills was seeded top-four in all four singles and picked up another two seeds in doubles. Troy has seven seeds, but none higher than a 4-seed. The Colts will have to overachieve to finish in the top three.

State finals preview
Novi regional story/photos
Clarkston regional story/photos

Portage Central 31, Midland Dow 26, Forest Hills Central 26, U-D Jesuit 20, Seaholm 19, Groves 18, Forest Hills Northern 17, Okemos 15, North Farmington 8, Grosse Pointe North 6, Wyandotte-Roosevelt 5, Holly 3, East Lansing 3, Walled Lake Western 2, Riverview Gabriel Richard 2, Gibraltar Carlson 1, Farmington Hills Harrison 1, Lakeview 1, Warren Cousino 0, Zeeland East 0, Temperance Bedford 0, Port Huron 0

Flight Finalists
1S  — Bill Duo (Portage Central) d. Connor Genschaw (FHC)
2S  — Michael Szabo (Midland Dow) d. Ben Orwin (Portage Central)
3S  — Tyler Conrad (Midland Dow) d. Michael Caserio (U-D Jesuit)
4S  — Jacob Wiltjer (FHC) d. Aditya Middha (Midland Dow)
1D  — Louis Wyre (U-D Jesuit) d. Kento Hirakawa-Cameron Raedy (Portage Central)
2D  — Andrew Latessa-Will Geller (Seaholm) d. Joey Liu-Sahil Tandon (Portage Central)
3D  — Brian McHale-Josh Belfer (FHN) d. Elijah Lentz-Cody Lewis (Portage Central)
4D  — Peyton Herbert-Mike Battiste (FHC) d. Kyle Wang-Andrew Beering (Portage Central)

My thoughts
It's been 7 years since Portage Central last won a state title (2007). I don't see any reason why the Mustangs won't win another on Saturday. The seeds favor them in a big way. Midland Dow has a great singles lineup, and both Forest Hills Central and Northern have rock-solid doubles lineups. But no one is more complete than PC. I think U-D Jesuit can make a splash here and there (3-singles and 1-doubles) and Seaholm's Andrew Latessa and Will Geller are on the verge of capping off a spectacular season at 2-doubles.

State finals preview
Groves regional story/photos
Holly regional story/photos
North Farmington regional story

Cranbrook 39, Country Day 33, Holland Christian 23, East Grand Rapids 15, Coldwater 13, Haslett 13, St. Joseph 12, Allegan 11, Forest Hills Eastern 11, Hamilton 9, Parma Western 6, Petoskey 6, Trenton 5, Charlotte 5, Chelsea 4, St. Clair 3, Coopersville 2, Armada 1, Cadillac 0, Yale 0, Grand Rapids Christian 0, Hudsonville Unity Christian 0

Flight Finalists
1S  — Marc Sable (CK) d. Noah Karoub (DCD)
2S  — Benji Jacobson (CK) d. Jakob Gahn (DCD)
3S  — Michael Khaghany (DCD) d. Michael Bian (CK)
4S  — Justin Luo (CK) d. Alex Mettler (DCD)
1D  — Nolan Trepeck-Matthew Gerard (CK) d. Damian Runkle-Adams Junn (DCD)
2D  — Chase Ghesquiere-Steven Meng (CK) d. Ryan Murakawa-Ricky Warnicke (DCD)
3D  — Brandon Kerr-Colin Petzold (CK) d. Kavon Rahmani-Joe Zhang (DCD)
4D  — Andrew Du-Jacob Yellen (CK) d. Millind Rao-Anirudh Chitale (DCD)

My thoughts
After four years atop the Division 3 world, it's time for Detroit Country Day to step aside. Cranbrook is back and will win its 19th boys state tennis title. Its doubles, and singles, lineups are the best in the state - all divisions. Sable and Jacobson are a lethal combination at 1-2 singles. And the 1-2 doubles teams may be even better for the Cranes. Novi is going for its second straight state title in Division 1, and should get it. And this Cranbrook team handled Novi, fairly easy, 6-2. There's no doubt that DCD is the second best team in the state - and it will prove that as well.

State finals preview
Cranbrook regional story/photos

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Catching up on some great early-season tennis

Due to a long-overdue vacation and a cold start to the spring sports season, my girls high school tennis preview package did not come out until last weekend. One thing I noticed was that though the high-end talent that graced the courts in 2014 was for the most part missing, the depth of talent remained for most of the tennis teams throughout Oakland County.
Two county teams - Birmingham Seaholm and Cranbrook - captured titles a year ago. Both are currently ranked No. 1 in their respective divisions. Sacred Heart is also ranked No. 1 - in Division 4. Oakland County last won three state championships in 2012 and again in 2013. And the county has won at least two of the four state titles in each of the last five seasons.
So the outlook is once again promising for area teams - regardless of whether a slew of talented players graduated from a year ago. Below are links to our tennis coverage so far in 2015. Click on the match/tournament to read about them and view our photo galleries.

State rankings (April 27)
Marian vs. Seaholm
Tennis gallery (Northville vs. Walled Lake Northern)
Bloomfield Hills vs. Troy
Rochester Adams vs. Lake Orion
Marian vs. Sacred Heart
Bishop Foley round robin tourney (w/Shrine and Oxford)
Girls preview - Top teams/players
Girls preview - Other team capsules
Seaholm vs. Clarkston
Seaholm vs. Groves