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.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Check out my 2013 boys tennis finals predictions

As has been tradition over the past couple seasons, I took a stab at predicting the outcome of the Division 1-2-3 state finals. So let's see just how much I do, or do not, know about the great sport of tennis.


Ann Arbor Huron 30, Birmingham Brother Rice 30, Novi 25, Troy 15, Rochester Adams 13, Ann Arbor Pioneer 13, Bloomfield Hills 12, Novi Detroit Catholic Central 12, Port Huron Northern 9, Troy Athens 8, Clarkston 8, Traverse City Central 8, Grand Blanc 7, Grosse Pointe South 6, Northville 6, Grand Blanc 6, Midland 6, Holland West-Ottawa 5, Rockford 4, Livonia Stevenson 0, Utica Eisenhower 0, Livonia Churchill 0

Flight finalists
1S — Tim Wang (Novi) d. Michael Dube' (Novi Detroit Catholic Central)
2S — Kevin Mei (AA Huron) d. Oliver Li (Rochester Adams)
3S — Koushik Kondapi (Novi) d. Colin Williams (AA Huron)
4S — Jack Winkler (Brother Rice) d. David Gandham (AA Huron)
1D — Aaron Brodkey-Akhiro Ota (AA Huron) d. Connor Parks-George Hamaty (Brother Rice)
2D — Joey Hildebrand-David Weatherford (Brother Rice) d. J. Chen-A. Luker (AA Huron)
3D — Brendan Dillon-Joe Paradiso (Brother Rice) d. M. Bondin-D. Friedman (AA Huron)
4D — Patrick Hamil-Dan Lunghamer (Brother Rice) d. Will Brenner-Orion Sang (AA Huron)

My thoughts
Where to begin? First off, breaking down match-by-match, I came to the conclusion that — on paper — Huron and Brother Rice will tie with 30 points. But honestly that was giving Brother Rice the benefit of the doubt at a few flights. Rice is the 1-seed at 2-3-4 doubles, and I gave them the victories at each of those flights. But just a year ago Huron came in and displayed nearly impeccable tennis. I could easily see them snagging one of those two flights, or even 4-singles. Also, these predictions include what some may say is an upset — quite an upset. The potential for Bloomfield Hills' Josh Mukherjee to upset sixth-seeded Jack Petersen of Huron is there. I picked it, but perhaps I'm giving Mukherjee too much credit here. Petersen is the veteran. He was a semifinalist last year. He should win this match. But it should be a good one. I saw Mukherjee put West Bloomfield's Kevin Rothstein away in a regional semifinal, 6-4, 7-5. He then jumped out to a 5-2 lead on Adams' Justin Hyman in the final, before losing a first-set tiebreaker and the match in two. If that Mukherjee shows up, it'll be delightful for Brother Rice.
I had CC's Michael Dube', Wang, Hyman, Athens' Richard Zhang and Mukherjee all ranked among my Top-10 Oakland County players entering the season. They'll all be in the No. 1 singles draw on Friday. I'm very much looking forward to a potential Zhang-Hyman quarterfinal, followed by a matchup of the winner versus Wang in a semifinal. Dube' and Mukherjee could face off in a quarterfinal. And if all goes to my predicted plan, Wang and Dube', my 1-2 ranked players in Oakland County, may face off in the final.
Last year, Huron took care of its own business while Novi and Brother Rice stole points off each other — leaving them six points behind the River Rats. The same could happen this season, with Novi's obvious strength in singles, while Rice excels in doubles. Though I predicted a tie at the top, on paper, if forced to make a call — I think Huron wins its third-straight title by two three points.

Midland Dow 39, Detroit U-D Jesuit 27, Forest Hills Northern 23, Forest Hills Central 20, Birmingham Seaholm 13, Portage Central 11, Okemos 10, Grand Rapids Northview 10, North Farmington 9, Birmingham Groves 8, Berkley 5, Holly 5, Kalamazoo Loy Norrix 5, Grosse Pointe North 4, Zeeland East 3

Flight finalists
1S — Davis Crocker (KLN) d. William Kirkman (MD)
2S —Julian Guerra (MD) d. Thomas Sheeren (UDJ)
3S — Varun Shanker (MD) d. Will Christian (FHN)
4S — Michael Szabo (MD) d. Freddy Heegan (UDJ)
1D — Jason Chang-Vikram Shanker (MD) d. Sam Kozulis-Travis Beach (FHC)
2D — Patrick Eschbach-Colin Angell (MD) d. Parneet Gogireddy-Alex Winks (FHN)
3D — Seamus Bartlett-Daniel Mango (MD) d. Carson Schmidt-Andrew Fox (FHC)
4D — Cole Williamson-Spencer Bouck (MD) d. Joey Wilson-Andy Stefani (UDJ)

My thoughts
I spoke with one area coach on Wednesday and said it's really no fun — waiting to see who's going to win Division 2. That answer is easy. However, the race for 2-3-4 could be exciting. U-D Jesuit has certainly proven it can play with the best teams. The Cubs were seeded at all eight flights and should score well enough to finish a solid second overall. I believe Birmingham Seaholm — once again — should be the top-finishing Oakland County team. The Maples are looking to finish where they were last year (fifth overall) or better. I've got them locked in at No. 5. The draws look favorable in doubles, where I see Seaholm scoring eight of their 13 team points.
Birmingham Groves and North Farmington — ranked among the top-10 teams in the state — could make a push for a top-10 finish this weekend. I've got them at ninth and 10th come Saturday afternoon.
In the end, Midland Dow will most likely clinch its fifth-straight state title in impressive fashion Saturday. 

Birmingham Detroit Country Day 38, East Grand Rapids 28, St. Joseph 26, Cranbrook-Kingswood 23, Holland Christian 17, Spring Lake 16, Sturgis 12, Coldwater 12, St. Clair 7, Allegan 6

Flight finalists
1S — Garrett Goldman (EGR) d. Rishi Patel (DCD)
2S — Noah Karoub (DCD) d. Grant Bailey (EGR)
3S — Kenny Garstecki (SJ) d. Jakob Gahn (DCD)
4S — Davis Wong (DCD) d. Ahmeir Kyle (SJ)
1D  — Blake Burstein-Damian Runkle (DCD) d. Taylor Ghesquiere-Stephane Teste (CK)
2D — Rishabh Nayak-Adam Junn (DCD) d. Nolan Trepeck-Chase Ghesquiere (CK)
3D — Matt Stebbins-D.J. Bailey (DCD) d. Thomas Bailey-Will Rea (EGR)
4D — Brendan Childress-Andrew Joslyn (DCD) d. Fangbo Yuan-Alex Lubeck (SJ)

My thoughts
Like Division 2, this division belongs to one team — Country Day. Despite losing their two best players from last year, the Yellowjackets are right back at the top. And I'm projecting six flight champions for DCD, one less than a year ago, when the team scored 39 out of a possible 40 points. Its once again the deepest team in the field, and a sweep by the doubles lineup will prove just that. Cranbrook will have a say, however, as the Cranes are seeded No. 2 at three doubles flights.

P.S. Make sure to watch our Tout video widget (below) as I'll be Touting from the Division 1 finals in Midland on Friday and Saturday.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home