With every year comes change. Rosters, lineups, which opponents are toughest, etc. For the past 13 years, however, the coach of Newtown High School boys’ tennis team was the same. Now, the boys’ tennis team is led by a new head coach as Brett Teolis succeeds longtime leader Marty Margulies.
Teolis inherits a squad that went to the South-West Conference championship, ultimately falling to Weston in the pinnacle match, but that also faces plenty of change on the courts. A handful of players graduated, leaving a mix of up-and-coming and returning players to make up the lineup.
“We’ve got a young team but I think we’re going to be a deep team,” Teolis said.
Key returnees include Keaton McCleary, Nic Klein (captain), Kunal Marwah, Matt Carino, and Charlie Poarch (captain).
“I’m looking for these guys to work hard,” said Teolis, adding that he couldn’t gauge much about his players in preseason. “Tennis is such a mental sport, and how you play in practice is not how you play in a match.”
He’s hoping the players come with or develop the mental toughness necessary to overcome obstacles during match play.
Teams the Nighthawks will likely have to overcome to get back into the hunt for a conference championship are always-dominant Weston, Barlow, and New Fairfield, the coach speculates. The season starts out with a tall order. The first two matches feature Barlow and New Fairfield, then Newtown will visit New Fairfield for a 3:45 pm match on Friday, April 11. The home opener is set for 11 am on Monday, April 14, when Bunnell of Stratford visits. Newtown won’t face Weston until an April 28 road match.
Teolis, who previously coached girls’ high school tennis at a private school in Massachusetts, played at the University of New Hampshire. He’s a tennis professional and teaches at the Armonk Tennis Club, and is the head professional at Rock Ridge Country Club.