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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.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tennis season almost half over

Where has the season gone? Seems like just yesterday that I was making phone calls and sending out emails to the coaches for my preview story. Now we're heading down the home stretch of the regular season. Won't be long before league tournaments are here, followed by regionals and then states.
Enjoy it while it lasts - cuz it won't last long.

This past weekend
I don't have my schedule in front of me, but we didn't get many results called in from tennis tournaments this past weekend. Cranbrook did report its results from the Ann Arbor Pioneer Quad, finishing third among a field that included the host Pioneers (No. 8 in Division 1), Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (No. 5 in Division 2) and Grand Blanc. Will Dube' finished unbeaten at No. 3 singles and Stephane Teste and Joe Cavataio won at No. 1 doubles.
Over at Grosse Pointe North, Seaholm finished fifth in a stacked field that included three-time defending Division 2 state champion Midland Dow. The Maples' No. 2 doubles team of Griffen Neal and Zac Tayler won their flight championship (see complete results below)
Birmingham Seaholm's Zach Tayler and Griffen Neal
won the No. 2 doubles flight championship
Saturday at the Grosse Pointe North Invitational.
(Photo courtesy of Mitch Mondry)

Grosse Pointe North Invitational
TEAM SCORES: Midland Dow 22, Portage Central 15, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central 15, Detroit U-D Jesuit 12, Birmingham Seaholm 11, Battle Creek Lakeview 10, Grosse Pointe North 6, East Lansing 5
CHAMPIONSHIP SINGLES: John Templeton (MD) d. Evan Taylor (FHC) 6-3, 7-5; Austin Woody (MD) d. Rob Stevens (PC) walkover; Trevor VanderKlok (PC) d. Alek Askounis (UDJ) 6-1, 4-6, 6-1; Michael Szabo (MD) d. Freddy Heegan (UDJ) 6-2, 6-7, 6-2
CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLES: Vikram Shanker-Jason Chang (MD) d. Connor Maks-Evan Beale (UDJ) 6-0, 6-1; Griffen Neal-Zach Tayler (BS) d. Kento Hirakawa-Ben Orwin (PC) 7-5, 6-2; Patrick Eschbach-Mark Gorte (MD) d. Amey Vrudhula-Nico Finelli (FHC) 6-0, 6-4; Andrew Camp-David Read (MD) d. Joey McClure-Mitchell Timyan (FHC) 7-5, 6-1

This next weekend
Holly and Grand Blanc will be hosting their invitational on Saturday. The eight-team field include the two host schools, along with Clarkston, East Lansing, Grand Rapids Christian, Port Huron Northern, Stoney Creek and Traverse City Central. Grand Rapids Christian is ranked No. 5 in Division 3, Traverse City Central No. 5 in Division 2 and Port Huron Northern No. 10 in Division 1.

Rankings update
I will be updating my Oakland County rankings later this week. The state rankings came out Monday, and someone must've been doing their homework in Division 1. Novi leapfrogged Brother Rice, moving into the No. 2 spot behind Ann Arbor Huron. The Wildcats fell to Country Day, 6-2, last week. That was the same margin of victory the Yellowjackets had over Brother Rice a couple weeks back. I tried to compare scores to see if one team played Country Day tougher than the other. It was very close, but I'd have given Novi a slight (5-3) edge in the head-to-head matchups against the Yellowjackets.
Regardless, it's going to be exciting next weekend as all three of these teams travel to Novi to play in a quad. That's the three top-ranked teams in Division 1 and what I consider the best team in the state (Country Day) regardless of division. When things shake out at the end of the season, I think you're going to see Novi and Brother Rice battling it out at the Division 1 finals. If you asked me right now, I'd give Rice the slightest of edges. But we'll see how it shakes out next weekend.

The future, now
Rochester Adams beat West Bloomfield 6-3 this past week in an OAA Red matchup. But all eyes were centered on the match between Adams' Justin Hyman and West Bloomfield's Kevin Rothstein at No. 1 singles. Hyman won the match in three, tough sets.
The two battled it out at No. 2 singles a year ago as freshmen and will be going head to head for league supremacy the next two seasons. Neither can beat Brett Forman or Nick Fiaschetti this year, but Hyman made a statement against Troy Athens' Richard Zhang a couple weeks ago, taking the first set before Zhang retired due to an injury early in the second.
Oakland County is loaded with sophomore talent. Joining Hyman and Rothstein among the elite are Novi's Tim Wang, Lakeland's Alex Kim and North Farmington's Griffin Mertz.

Coaches' reminder
Some of you have been great in reporting scores this year. Some have been good. Yet I haven't heard from a few coaches out there. I encourage you to submit every dual during the week and I'm really interested in your weekend tournaments. It gives me a chance to see how you fare against the state's best. So please, email them in to or call us at (248) 745-4775 between 7-9 p.m. on weeknights.
Thank you Cranbrook for calling in your results this past weekend.

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