“I think it’s one of the best teams I’ve every coached,” 12th-year Coach Marty Margulies said of his Newtown High School boys’ tennis team.
Even so, the Nighthawks, with almost all of last year’s South-West Conference runner-up squad back in place, will not look past any opponent as they try to get back to the conference’s pinnacle match.
Newtown lost only a couple of players to graduation and retains almost every starter/regular from a year ago.
“We want to win the conference championship,” Margulies said. “Barring the unexpected … I anticipate we should certainly be in the postseason.”
Margulies notes that injuries on his team and opposing lineups being better than anticipated are the potential unexpected.
He believes his Hawks will be one of the top four SWC teams and, thus, in the conference playoffs with a chance for the title. Newtown, after all, lost only once in the regular season a year ago, falling to eventual champion Weston.
Margulies expects Weston, Joel Barlow of Redding, New Milford, Pomperaug of Southbury, and New Fairfield to be among the better teams. “We don’t write off any school until we’ve seen and beaten them,” Margulies said.
Newtown’s captains are Tyler Ruefenacht and Sean Elliott. The early-season lineup features Cam McCleary at No. 1 singles, followed by Ruefenacht, Ricky Fuentes, and Elliott in the singles rotation. Peter Winans is also among those getting an early look in singles play.
The starting doubles teams, in order, are Yossi Kohrman-Glaser/NicKlein, Keaton McCleary/Matt Carino, and Kunal Marwah/Mike Dutsar. James Frazzetta, Wes Morlock, Charlie Poarch, and Jordan Trager are also players contending for time in the lineup.
Margulies notes that the ladder is open and fluid until May 2, so the order can change pending early-season performances.